Azerbaijan announced this Tuesday a new military offensive “anti-terrorist” in the separatist region of Karabajthe enclave under dispute, populated by Armenians on Azerbaijani territory. The attack comes after months of escalating tensions and mutual accusations in the region. Local media reported that Stepanakertthe de facto capital of the unrecognized state of Karabakh, has been bombed and the air raid sirens have been activated. The former unrecognized state minister, Ruben Vardanyan, reported a “massive bombing” through his Telegram account. For his part, Marut Vanyana journalist living in Stepanakert, noted on his X account – formerly known as Twitter – that several explosions have been heard in the city and that dozens of children are sheltered in basements.
The Artsakh authority – as the unrecognized government of Karabakh calls itself – stated that the bombings have caused two deadincluding a minor, and eleven civilians have been injured.
The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense announced in a statement the start of operation in the region with “high-precision weapons on the front line” to “disarm and ensure the withdrawal of Armenia’s armed forces from our territories.” Baku insisted that it was not targeting civilian targets and that the offensive is aimed at “suppressing large-scale provocations.” The statement adds that the russian contingent deployed in the region to maintain stability after the war in the 2020 enclave, has been informed of the military operation.
In another statement, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry accused “Armenian military forces” of shelling Azerbaijani military positions in the Agdam district, adjacent to the separatist region. The Armenian legislator Tigran Abrahamiandenied the accusations.
The offensive comes after months of a tension scale in the ethnic Armenian enclave and there are fears that it could lead to a new war, like the one that occurred in 1990 and 2020. Armenia has accused Azerbaijan of accumulate troops on its border in recent months and warned of a possible military offensive against the enclave.