On 3 October, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev declared on Twitter that multiple villages in the regions of Tartar, Jabrayil and Fuzuli were under the control of Azerbaijani forces.
Fierce fighting has continued into a sixth day in the most violent escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict since a ceasefire was agreed upon 26 years ago.
Violations are common, with the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides blaming one another for breaking the ceasefire. A four day-long war was fought in April 2016, and skirmishes also took place in July 2020.
Azerbaijan insists that the region of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions, internationally recognized as Azerbaijani territory and occupied by Armenian forces, be returned.
Armenia, on the other hand,
the fighting as an existential threat to the ethnic Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh, and Armenia itself, and heavily criticizes the support of Azerbaijani's closest ally, Turkey.
Azerbaijani oppositional politicians and activists are also mainly supportive of the offensive; one of the criticisms of Aliyev was his previously light-handed approach to the Karabakh issue.
On 2 and 3 October, Azerbaijani President
and Armenian Prime Minister
gave separate interviews to Al-Jazeera. There was no significant alteration from their previous rhetoric concerning the conflict, signaling a continuation of the fighting with no end in sight.
However, Pashinyan later
that Armenia was ready to discuss an end to the fighting together with the OSCE Minsk Group mediators. Based off of Aliyev's most recent statements, however, it seems that the Azerbaijani side is not yet ready to join such discussions.
The region of Nagorno-Karabakh, internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, was declared independent by ethnic Armenians living there as the Soviet Union collapsed. An estimated 30,000 were killed when the conflict turned into a full-fledged war,. A ceasefire signed in 1994 under the auspices of Moscow put a fragile end to a large-scale conflict. Peace talks mediated by France, US and Russia were unsuccessful and since then, conflict is volatile, with flare-ups sporadically occurring.