Heavy bombing of Azerbaijan in Armenia in the night from Monday to Tuesday

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan spoke on the phone last night with the presidents of Russia and France, and appealed to the UN to end the aggression in Baku.

A night of sadness and fear. This is the experience of the three million inhabitants of the Republic of Armenia, some border towns and villages which suffered heavy bombardment last night from the Azerbaijani army. At 12:05 am (10:05 pm French time), residents of Jermuk, Vardenis and Goris heard several explosions: artillery fire from the border area. “We also heard like great noises above our heads, told us a resident of the city of Goris (25,000 inhabitants including hundreds of refugees from the self-proclaimed republic of Artsakh, three-quarters occupied by Azeri in 2020). In the region of Gegharkunik, in the northeast of Armenia, drones were also seen near Lake Sevan: the famous Turkish Bayraktar TB-2, which was successfully used by the Ukrainian army against the Russian invaders. In the south of the country, in Kapan, shots were heard from one in the morning. But also in Martouni, near Lac Noir, in Artanish and in Sotk. According to the Armenian Defense Ministry, the attacks left many people dead and injured, without establishing a proper balance.

Warning signs

Two hours after the start of this attack, the Armenian government met in the capital, Yerevan, under the authority of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan who spoke by phone with the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, the President of France Emmanuel Macron and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken all. regretting Baku’s aggression, it was condemned for some “unacceptable”. During these talks, Pashinyan said he was hopeful “a fitting response from the international community” in front of “aggression” from Azerbaijan.

The Armenian Security Council also appealed to the UN and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a regional structure led by Russia, which guarantees the territorial sovereignty of its members, all former Soviet republics ( Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan). In vain: despite attempts to mediate by Russia, whose 102nd military base, located in Gyumri, in the north of Armenia, was put on alert, the fighting continued throughout the night on the border and continued at dawn this morning.

Many observers have warned of an imminent major military attack on Baku, having observed warning signs for a week. Turkish cargo planes carrying weapons landed in Azerbaijan 48 hours ago. Sporadic gunfire has been heard around some villages in Armenia since the beginning of September. Azerbaijan’s Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov issued a threatening statement on September 10, accusing his neighbor of armed provocations to which he called on his troops to be ready to retaliate. The same rhetoric was used to justify the aggression against Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh two years ago, which led to the “44 Day War” that claimed the lives of more than 3,000 young Armenians.

Despite discussions around a peace agreement initiated under the auspices of the European Union and Baku’s apparent efforts to stabilize the situation (five Armenian prisoners of war imprisoned for nearly an of two years released days), the autocratic President Ilham Aliyev, in power for almost twenty years, recently expressed his impatience to build a corridor between Nakhitchevan, an Azeri exclave in the west in Armenia, and in other parts of his territory. This summer, he forced Artsakh authorities to abandon the Lachin Corridor linking their capital Stepanakert with Armenia, following a surprise military operation. Did he have the same intentions when he launched the bombing that night? Was this attack only intended to pressure the Prime Minister of Armenia to facilitate the hoped-for agreement or was it, as some feared, a wider attack plan? the Armenian Syunik)? Is the weakening of the Russian army in Ukraine seen as an opportunity for the master of Baku, drunk after his victory in November 2020? Many questions added to the main ones that Armenians asked themselves on September 13: will the bombings, which hit civilian targets, stop?

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