Heavy fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces broke out in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Here are the latest updates:
The United States has condemned escalating violence between Azerbaijan and Armenia, calling on both sides to cease hostilities immediately.
The State Department said in a statement that both sides should immediately end the violence, as well as any rhetoric or other actions that could worsen tensions.
It said any participation in the escalating violence by outside parties would be “deeply unhelpful”.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said he is “extremely concerned over the fresh resumption of hostilities” between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“The Secretary-General strongly calls on the sides to immediately stop fighting, de-escalate tensions and return to meaningful negotiations without delay,” Guterres’s spokesman said in a statement.
Guterres “condemns the use of force and regrets the loss of life and the toll on the civilian population,” the statement said, adding that the secretary-general would speak to the president of Azerbaijan and the prime minister of Armenia.
Full responsibility for the present situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border falls squarely on the political and military leadership of Armenia, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry has said.
“Another [act of] aggression by Armenia against Azerbaijan is a blatant violation of fundamental norms and principles of international law, international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols, as well as United Nations Security Council Resolutions 822, 853, 874, 884 of 1993, demanding the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the armed forces of Armenia from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan,” the ministry said in a statement.
The Nagorno-Karabakh leader Araik Harutyunyan has said that the breakaway region has lost some positions to Azerbaijan’s army amid renewed clashes.
He also said there were dead and wounded both among civilians and military personnel.
Armenian Defence Ministry has said it was checking reports about combatants from Syria who are allegedly fighting for Azerbaijan’s side.
Hikmet Hajiyev, the foreign policy aide to the Azerbaijani president, dismissed the report carried by the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as “nonsense”.
The residents of a village in an area of western Azerbaijan under attack by Armenia has asked for international help to end their suffering.
Israil Haciyev, who lives in the village of Kapanli in the city of Tartar, said they are frequently fired upon by Armenia with heavy weapons. “Women, the elderly, children, all are leaving their homes,” he told Anadolu Agency.
“Let the whole world hear us … such torment cannot be tolerated,” said Ibrahim Zamin, another local. “What is the world doing?”
Armenia and Azerbaijan have accused each other of initiating deadly clashes in which at least 23 people were killed.
Sixteen Armenian separatist fighters were killed and more than 100 wounded in the fighting, rebel officials said.
Both sides also reported casualties, including at least one Armenian woman and child. Baku said an Azerbaijani family of five were killed in shelling launched by Armenian separatists.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov have spoken over the phone. They discussed Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan, said Turkish diplomatic sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
According to a Russian Foreign Ministry statement: “The need for an early cease-fire and stabilisation of the situation on the line of contact [between the countries] was stressed.”
Separately, Cavusoglu spoke with Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov on the phone regarding the recent clashes.
Turkey has sharply criticised Armenia, saying Yerevan was an obstacle to peace and promising to continue its support for Azerbaijan.
In a statement on Twitter following a phone call with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Armenian people to stand against leaders who he said were “dragging them to catastrophe”, adding that Ankara’s solidarity with Baku would “increasingly continue”.
Turkey calls on “the entire world to stand with Azerbaijan in their battle against invasion and cruelty”, Erdogan said.
Azerbaijan’s general prosecution office has said five people from one family have been killed in shelling launched by Armenian separatist forces
“As a result of artillery shelling, [by Karabakh rebels] a family comprising five members was killed in [Azerbaijan’s] village of Gashalty,” the office of Azerbaijan’s prosecutor general said in a statement.
A senior NATO official has called on Azerbaijan and Armenia to immediately end clashes in the occupied Upper Karabakh region.
“The parties should immediately end clashes,” James Appathurai, the NATO secretary general’s special representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, said in a statement.
“The parties should resume negotiations for a peaceful solution. NATO supports the efforts of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe [OSCE] Minsk Group.”
Azerbaijani forces have captured from Armenian rebels a strategic mountain in Nagorno-Karabakh that helps control transport communications between Yerevan and the Armenian-held enclave, Azerbaijan’s presidency has said.
Azerbaijani forces have taken the 3,000-metre-high “strategic” Murovdag peak in Karabakh, presidency spokesman Hikmet Hajiyev told journalists.
Sixteen Armenian separatist fighters have been killed in Nagorno Karabakh, rebel officials have said.
“According to preliminary data, 16 [Karabakh] servicemen were killed and more than 100 wounded” since fighting erupted, the separatist defence ministry said, while both Baku and Yerevan reported civilian casualties earlier.
Azerbaijan’s parliament has declared a state of war in some of its cities and regions.
In a meeting, the National Assembly passed a measure partially and temporarily restricting the constitutional and property rights and freedoms of Azerbaijani citizens and foreigners in the country as long as the war situation continues.
Under the decision, a curfew may also be declared at certain times in some regions.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan have discussed the clashes in a phone call, the Kremlin has said in a statement.
It said the conversation noted that it was important not to allow further escalation of the conflict and it was necessary to halt all military action.
Mehmet Celik, the managing editor of the Turkish Daily Sabah, told Al Jazeera, “Turkey’s position is in line with how international law has recognised the region.”
“[Turkey has taken a] firm position for Azerbaijan’s rights and international law due to the failure of diplomacy by the Minsk group … [which] has failed unfortunately to find a solution to this decades-long conflict between the two countries. It has been pushed under the carpet,” Celik said.
Azerbaijan’s parliament has approved the introduction of martial law across the country and imposed curfews, Hikmet Hajiyev, an aide to the president has said.
Iran has called for an end to the fighting and said it was ready to facilitate talks and a ceasefire between its two neighbours.
Iran “is closely following the military conflict between the republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia with concern”, foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement.
Tehran is ready “to use all of its capacities to establish ceasefire and start talks between the two sides”, he said and called for “an immediate end to the conflict”.
Nagorno-Karabakh has said 16 of its servicemen were killed and more than 100 wounded in clashes with Azerbaijan’s forces.
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev says his country wants a complete resolution over the disputed region.
“The problem of Nagorno-Karabakh is our national task … The solution is our historical mission”, he said according to the Azerbaijani agency turan.az. The people should be satisfied with the restoration of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, Aliyev said.
“I have said several times that we do not need an imperfect solution of this question, this conflict,” he said. “We will never allow the establishment of a second so-called Armenian state on Azerbaijani soil.”
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has called on the international community to ensure that Turkey does not involve itself in Armenia’s conflict with Azerbaijan.
“I call on the international community to use all existing levers to prevent Turkey’s meddling [in the conflict] which can once and for all destabilise the [Caucasus] region,” Pashinyan said in a televised statement.
He added that Turkish “aggressive behaviour causes serious concerns,” and denounced Ankara’s support for its ally Baku.
Azerbaijan’s parliament has introduced martial law and curfew in several regions after clashes over the Nagorno-Karabakh province.
Azerbaijan has called on Armenia to lay down its arms and cease its border violations.
If Armenian forces surrender, the prisoners of war and civilian hostages will be treated in line with the Geneva Convention and other international legal norms, Azerbaijan’s defence ministry pledged in a statement.
The statement added that if Armenian forces continue their resistance, all their armed forces will be neutralised.
Armenia has said a woman and a child were killed in the disputed separatist region by shelling from Azerbaijani forces and Azerbaijan’s president has said his military has suffered losses.
Armenia also claimed that two Azerbaijani helicopters were shot down and three Azerbaijani tanks were hit by artillery, but Azerbaijan’s defence ministry has rejected that claim.
Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan told Al Jazeera that the “aggression is pre-planned, not just by Azerbaijan but by the massive support of Turkey, which has its military presence.
“It has been showing its unilateral aggressive approach towards Armenia. This is very disturbing. It’s a massive escalation,” Mnatsakanyan said.
While Azerbaijan maintains that Armenia was the first to attack at 6am, Mnatsakanyan said: “We totally reject this absolute misinformation … we have no intention of doing anything which would bring to an escalation.”
— Armenia 🇦🇲 (@armenia) September 27, 2020
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has said archfoe Azerbaijan has declared war on his people.
Azerbaijan’s “authoritarian regime has once again declared war on the Armenian people”, Pashinyan said in a televised statement, adding, “we are on the brink of a full-scale war in the South Caucasus, which might have unpredictable consequences”.
Hello, this is Mersiha Gadzo taking over the live updates from my colleague Umut Uras.
The international community has reacted to the escalation of tensions and heavy fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Read more here.
Russia called on the parties to the conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region to immediately stop hostilities and begin negotiations.
“According to the available information, the situation in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has sharply deteriorated,” the Russian foreign ministry said.
“We call on the parties to immediately cease fire and begin negotiations in order to stabilise the situation,” it added.
The contested Nagorno-Karabakh region, a mountainous and heavily-forested patch of land, is at the heart of a decades-long armed standoff between neighbours Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Under international law, Nagorno-Karabakh is recognised as part of Azerbaijan. But the ethnic Armenians who make up the vast majority of the population reject Azerbaijani rule. They have been running their own affairs, with support from Armenia, since Azerbaijan’s forces were pushed out in a war in the 1990s.
Read more here.
Germany called for an “immediate” halt to the fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani separatists over the Nagorny-Karabakh region, saying the conflict can only be resolved through dialogue.
“I call on both parties to the conflict to immediately stop all hostilities, especially the shelling of villages and towns,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement, voicing “alarm” at reports of civilian casualties.
He urged a return to talks to resolve the dispute over the breakaway region, saying that the so-called Minsk Group “stood ready” to help.
A spokesman for the Azerbaijan presidency told Al Jazeera his country’s goal is to retake all Azerbaijani territory controlled by Armenian forces.
Hikmet Haciyev, an assistant to the president of Azerbaijan and the head of foreign policy department, added that Armenia must withdraw from the territory it has occupied for the conflict to end.
Azerbaijan said it had captured six of its Armenian-controlled villages in heavy fighting along the front line of the disputed Nagorny-Karabakh region.
“We have liberated six villages – five in Fizuli district and one in Jebrail district,” a defence ministry spokesman told the AFP news agency.
Azerbaijan’s army said there was no need for total military mobilisation due to a flare-up in tensions with Armenia over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region, since its army is fully staffed.
Earlier, both Armenia and authorities Nagorno-Karabakh declared martial law and military mobilisation due to clashes with Azerbaijan.
France called on Yerevan and Baku to end hostilities and immediately restart dialogue after Armenia declared martial law and mobilised its male population following clashes with Azerbaijan over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.
“France is extremely concerned by the confrontation,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnes bon der Muhll said in a statement.
Along with the United States and Russia, France is co-president of the Minsk group, which mediates between both Armenia and Azerbaijan.
European Council president Charles Michel has called for a halt to fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces and an “immediate return to negotiations, without preconditions”.
“Military action must stop, as a matter of urgency, to prevent a further escalation,” Michel tweeted.
Azerbaijan’s transport ministry says it has “put restrictions on internet traffic” amid the ongoing military escalation with Armenian forces.
The ministry said the measure was taken in order to prevent “Armenian provocations” following the clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Ankara “strongly condemns the attack by Armenia against Azerbaijan”.
“Armenia violated the ceasefire by attacking civilian locations,” he posted on Twitter. “Turkey stands in full solidarity with Azerbaijan and unreservedly supports its right to self-defense.”
We strongly condemn Armenia’s attack on Azerbaijan. Armenia has once again violated international law and shown that it has no interest in peace and stability.
Turkey stands in full solidarity with Azerbaijan and unreservedly supports its right to self-defense.
— Ibrahim Kalin (@ikalin1) September 27, 2020
Nagorno-Karabakh’s leader Araik Harutyunyan accused the Turkish government of sending mercenaries to Azerbaijan.
“We have information that mercenaries from Turkey and other countries were airlifted to Azerbaijan,” he said.
“The Turkish army is already in Azerbaijan, under the guise of military drills,” he claimed.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has vowed victory over Armenian forces in a televised address to the nation.
Aliyev says “there are losses among the Azerbaijani forces and the civilian population as a result of the Armenian bombardment”.
“Our cause is just and we will win,” Aliyev said, repeating a famous quote from Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin’s address at the outbreak of World War II in Russia. “[The] Azerbaijani army is fighting on its territory,” he added.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called on his people to defend their “homeland”.
“Get ready to defend our sacred homeland,” he wrote on Facebook, adding “the government has decided to declare martial law and a total mobilisation”.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s coverage of the military escalation between Armenia and Azerbaijan. I’m Umut Uras in Doha.