After Baku announced a major new military offensive in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh it claimed to be aimed against Armenian military assets in the region, the Armenian Foreign Ministry accused it on Tuesday of unleashing another large-scale aggression against the people.
The ministry also alleged that Azerbaijan is also pursuing ethnic cleansing of Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh, claims that were given some additional weight since Baku declared an “evacuation” of ethnic Armenians in “the dangerous area” while opening up a crisis that risks spiraling into all-out war.
Armenia condemned its neighbor for both the latest escalation, which comes after months of fruitless negotiations, as well as the mass crimes committed by Azerbaijan during the hostilities three years ago that resulted in thousands killed on each side.
Turkey-backed Azerbaijan was also behind the supply blockade of food and medicines into the ethnic Armenian enclave over the past months, fueling in the meantime speculation that it has been preparing to use lethal force to bring to an end the decades-long frozen conflict.
Heavy shelling and gunfire could be seen in the reports and film footage from Nagorno-Karabakh, accompanied by the wailing air raid sirens in Stepanakert, the de facto capital of the unrecognized state.