Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense announces the start of a local military operation in Karabakh

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September 19th is witnessing a series of events in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, marked by escalating tensions and tragic incidents.

Events unfolded when a Kamaz truck owned by Azeravtoyol OJSC was struck by a supposed anti-tank mine in the Khojavend region of Azerbaijan at 03:45 a.m. This incident resulted in the immediate deaths of the driver and a passenger, adding to the toll of the ongoing crisis. The circumstances surrounding this incident are currently under investigation.

Early in the day, Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Defense officially declared the commencement of what it termed an “anti-terrorist operation” in Nagorno-Karabakh. According to Azerbaijani authorities, the operation’s objectives were to prevent large-scale provocations, disarm and withdraw Armenian armed forces from the region, and neutralize their military infrastructure.

Throughout the day, reports emerged of shelling in the city of Khakendi (Stepanakert) and attacks on Armenian radar stations in the region, further exacerbating the already tense situation.

Gegham Stepanyan, the Ombudsman of Nagorno-Karabakh, reported casualties following the initiation of Azerbaijan’s “anti-terrorist operation.” Among the casualties, he noted the loss of an adult and a child, with a total of 23 victims, including eight children, recorded.

Azerbaijani authorities have stated that they established humanitarian corridors and reception points along the Lachin road and other directions to facilitate the safe evacuation of civilians from the conflict zone. They also urged residents to distance themselves from military installations.

Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan made a statement regarding the local military operations of Azerbaijan in Karabakh. The Prime Minister said that the Armenian authorities are in contact with Karabakh’s authorities, but there is a problem in communication. According to the latest information, a meeting of the Armenian Security Council is being held under the leadership of Nikol Pashinyan.

The European Union (EU), through its High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, has issued a statement calling for an immediate halt to Azerbaijani military operations in Karabakh. Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, also emphasized the need for Azerbaijan to immediately cease its military actions and create conditions for sincere dialogue between Baku and the Armenian community in Karabakh.

Also, a telephone conversation took place between Azerbaijan’s Minister of Defense, Zakir Hasanov, and Turkey’s Minister of National Defense, Yashar Güler. Minister Hasanov reportedly briefed Minister Güler on the “anti-terrorist” measures being carried out in Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region. In response, Minister Güler expressed Turkey’s support for Azerbaijan.

The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh remains complex and rapidly evolving, with both sides presenting their perspectives on the unfolding events. International observers continue to closely monitor the situation, expressing concerns about its potential impact on the region.

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