Azerbaijan resumes attacks on Armenia, as Russian military alliance announces fact-finding mission

By Mark Dovich

Azerbaijan continued attacking the Armenian town of Jermuk overnight, and then resumed shelling on a number of other towns and villages in eastern and southern Armenia Wednesday morning, Armenia’s Defense Ministry said.

“The situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border remained tense” overnight, the ministry said in a statement. “In particular, the adversary used attack drones in the direction of Jermuk. No significant incidents were recorded in the other directions of aggression unleashed the previous day.”

It continued: “Today, starting at 8:00, the adversary resumed offensive operations using artillery, mortars, and heavy caliber firearms, particularly in the direction of Jermuk and Verin Shorzha.”

Reporting from Jermuk Wednesday morning, CivilNet journalist Gevorg Tosunyan said he saw evidence Azerbaijan had used drones to target civilian infrastructure in the area.

As of 9 a.m. local time, CivilNet journalist Armine Simonyan reported resumed attacks on Goris and Ishkhanasar as well.

The strategically located village of Ishkhanasar lies within one of Armenia’s narrowest bottlenecks and along a key road connecting the southernmost Syunik region with the rest of the country.

Following a special session late Tuesday evening convened at Armenia’s request, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Russian-led military alliance, announced it would send Stanislav Zas, the alliance’s head, to Armenia to lead a fact-finding mission. Armenia is a founding member of the alliance.

Zas’ mission is meant to “assess the current situation” and “prepare a detailed report,” the Russian TASS news agency reported, adding the alliance also “decided to create a working group to constantly monitor the situation in the CSTO zone of responsibility.”

Separately, an unnamed United Nations source told TASS Tuesday the UN Security Council would hold a special session Wednesday to discuss the situation along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.

Armenia had previously appealed to the UN for assistance in response to Azerbaijan’s attacks, prompting France to pledge to raise the issue at the Security Council.

Just after midnight Tuesday, Azerbaijani troops launched simultaneous attacks on a number of towns and villages in Armenia proper, marking an unprecedented escalation in hostilities between Yerevan and Baku.

Ensuing clashes have left scores dead and injured on both sides. Armenia has reported 49 soldiers killed in action so far, while Azerbaijan has put its combat losses at 42 soldiers and eight border guards.

The death toll makes Tuesday the single deadliest day in the region since the outbreak of the Karabakh war nearly two years ago.

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