Azerbaijan Targets Karabakh Capital of Stepanakert

Azerbaijan has launched an offensive along the entire Line of Contact between Azerbaijan and Karabakh, as well as the capital of Stepanakert and other residential areas. Civilian casualties have already been reported.Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, the Ministry of Defense of Armenia and Commander of the Artsakh (Karabakh) Defense Army Jalal Harutyunyan stated that official Baku bears full responsibility for the escalation.

Pashinyan was the first to report the attack by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces on the Republic of Karabakh. Addressing the people of Armenia, Artsakh and Diaspora, he said “The opponent has begun an attack. The army is successfully resisting. The situation is developing and any new updates will be reported.”

Pashinyan urged everyone to follow only official sources and not give in to misinformation. 

Following Pashinyan, Vahram Poghosyan, Press Secretary of the President of Karabakh,, said that Azerbaijan began active shelling along the entire perimeter of the Line of Contact. “Peaceful regions, including the capital of Stepanakert, are being shelled”, he said.

The press Secretary of the Armenian Defense Minister Shushan Stepanyan also reported that Azerbaijan launched an air and missile attack in the direction of Artsakh. “The Armenian side shot down two enemy helicopters and three UAVs,” she wrote. The Armenian Defense Ministry also reports that the Azerbaijani armed forces are suffering casualties. “The fighting continues, Azerbaijan has lost tanks,” wrote Artsrun Hovhannisyan, representative of the Armenian Ministry of Defense.

Commander of the Karabakh Defense Army Jalal Harutyunyan called for mobilization: “Four years after the fighting in 2016, the adversary once again has resorted to the force of arms, believing that it can thus solve the conflict in its favor. At the moment, units of the Defense Army, causing significant damage to the adversary, have successfully thwarted their plans. These plans have been known to us for a long time, the essence of which can be expressed in one phrase – to “dearmenianize” Artsakh and Armenia.” 

“Victory will not be easy. The adversary will take aim at civilian areas and the civilian population, it will not differentiate between the military and young children, adults and helpless old people. Victory will require  unity. Now we need to put aside all differences, our goal is the same – to defeat the adversary in all possible ways, to strike, to destroy its military infrastructure, if necessary – to expand the Line of Contact and force a final peace. To do this, we need to combine all our efforts,” Harutyunyan continued.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry condemned the actions of the Azerbaijani armed forces. “We strongly condemn the aggression of the military-political leadership of Azerbaijan against the Republic of Artsakh. The Armenian side will confidently act with all its capabilities to ensure the security of the people of Artsakh and to adopt an appropriate military and political response. The military and political leadership of Azerbaijan bears full responsibility for the consequences of aggression,” Armenian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna Naghdalyan said in a statement.