Azerbaijan announced Tuesday it had begun an “anti-terrorist operation” in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, The assault came after Azerbaijan’s defense minister accused terrorists in the region of killing six Azerbaijani soldiers through land mines. The ministry released a statement, claiming “Localized anti-terrorist measures have been launched in the region.” They added they will be using “high precision weapons on the front line and in depth as part of the operations.”
The capital of the region, Stepanakert, is reporting sounds of explosions and sirens. It has also lost cell reception.
2,000 Russian Peacekeepers are present, but they are not making any action to halt what is reported so far as artillery fire into the Nagorno-Karabakh region. U.S. State Secretary Anthony Blinken said the U.S. was “deeply concerned by Azerbaijan’s military actions in Nagorno-Karabakh and calls on Azerbaijan to cease these actions immediately. These actions are worsening an already dire humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and undermine prospects for peace. … We call for an immediate end to hostilities and for respectful dialogue between Baku and representatives of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh.”
Meanwhile Russian and Iranian Military leaders are meeting in Tehran to discuss what can be done to de-escalate the situation. Iran is calling on both sides to respect the 2020 ceasefire treaty while also supporting Azerbaijan’s claims that the region is part of their republic.
While it makes that claim, it also accuses Israel, an ally of Azerbaijan, of being behind the whole affair, saying it will not tolerate any “Zionist initiative on border reshuffling in the region.”