At least 49 Armenian soldiers killed in fresh clashes with neighboring Azerbaijan

Armenia said on Tuesday that nearly 50 of its soldiers had been killed in the worst clashes with Azerbaijan since the war two years ago, but Russia said it had persuaded its historic foes to agree to a quick ceasefire.

After several hours of fierce fighting on the border overnight, Armenia has appealed to world leaders for help, saying that Azerbaijani forces are trying to advance on its territory.

The fighting was the worst since the end of the 2020 war between the former Soviet republics That left more than 6,500 dead on both sides.
It came with Moscow, Yerevan’s closest ally – which deployed thousands of peacekeepers to the region after the war – getting distracted. .

But Russia said it had succeeded in stopping the clashes, with the Foreign Ministry in Moscow saying a ceasefire had been agreed as of 3pm EST.

Russia is Armenia’s closest ally. source: GT / Karen Minassian / Agence France-Presse

“We expect that the agreement reached as a result of the Russian-brokered ceasefire … will be fully implemented,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that it was “deeply concerned” by the escalation of fighting.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan addressed parliament on Tuesday morning, after calling French President Emmanuel Macron, Russian President Vladimir Putin and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to demand an “appropriate response” to Azerbaijan’s “aggressive actions”.

“At the moment, 49 (soldiers) have been killed, and unfortunately this is not the final number,” Pashinyan told the politicians.

Moscow asked for help

Azerbaijan said it had suffered casualties in the fighting, but did not specify the number of dead.
The Defense Ministry in Yerevan said that the clashes began at dawn on Tuesday, as the Armenian lands were bombarded with artillery, mortars and drones towards the cities of Goris, Sotak and Jermuk.

“The enemy is trying to advance (into Armenian territory),” it added in a statement.

But Azerbaijan accused Armenia of committing “large-scale acts of sabotage” near Dasheksan, Kalpajar and Lachin provinces and said its armed forces were responding with “limited and targeted steps and neutralizing the Armenian firing positions”.
Turkey, the long-time political and military sponsor of Azerbaijan, accused Armenia of being responsible for the outbreak of the fighting and urged Yerevan to negotiate.

“Armenia should stop its provocations and focus on peace negotiations and cooperation with Azerbaijan,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Twitter after a phone call with his Azerbaijani counterpart Jehun Bayramov.

Mr. Pashinyan on Tuesday chaired an emergency session of the country’s Security Council that approved a formal request for military assistance from Moscow, which is bound by a treaty to defend Armenia in the event of a foreign invasion.
The Defense Ministry in Yerevan said that Armenian Defense Minister Soren Babikyan and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu “had a telephone conversation to discuss Azerbaijan’s aggression on Armenian sovereign territory,” adding that the two “agreed to take the necessary steps to stabilize the situation.”

Armenia is a member of the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization that also includes several former Soviet republics in Central Asia.

The United States is “extremely concerned” about the fighting

The US earlier called for an end to the fighting, with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken saying the US was “extremely concerned” about the situation, including “the strikes reported to settlements and civilian infrastructure” in Armenia.
“As we have long made clear, there can be no military solution to the conflict,” Mr. Blinken said in a statement. We urge an immediate end to any military hostilities.”
Last week, Armenia accused Azerbaijan of killing one of its soldiers in a cross-border shootout.

Azerbaijan said in August it had lost a soldier, and the Karabakh army said two of its soldiers had been killed and more than a dozen wounded.

The neighbors fought two wars – in the 1990s and in 2020 – over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but is inhabited by Armenians.
The six weeks of brutal fighting in the fall of 2020 ended with a Russian-brokered ceasefire.

During EU-mediated talks in Brussels in May and April, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Mr. Pashinyan agreed to “advance discussions” on a future peace treaty.

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