Azerbaijan, Armenia clash as France, Turkey trade barbs: Live

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday condemned what he called Turkey’s ‘reckless and dangerous’ statements backing Azerbaijan it its bid to take back the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia entered a fourth day in the biggest eruption of the conflict in decades [Aziz Karimov/AP]
  • Fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia entered a fourth day on Wednesday in the biggest eruption of the decades-old conflict since a 1994 ceasefire.
  • Armenia said three civilians had been killed in Martakert, a town located in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, as a result of an Azeri attack, local news agency Armenpress reported.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron said Turkey’s “warlike” rhetoric was encouraging Azerbaijan to reconquer Nagorno-Karabakh.
  • Nagorno-Karabakh is a disputed region inside Azerbaijan and controlled by ethnic Armenians. It broke away from Azerbaijan in a war in the 1990s but is not recognised by any country as an independent republic.

Here are the latest updates:

Wednesday, September 30

18:24 GMT – Nagorno-Karabakh reports 23 more losses: ministry

The defence ministry of the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh said it could report 23 more casualties.

Dozens have been reported killed and hundreds wounded in fighting since Sunday.

Civilians gather in the basement of a building used as a bomb shelter during a military conflict over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh in Stepanakert [Vahram Baghdasaryan/Reuters]

17:37 GMT – Fourth rocket lands on Iranian soil

Iranian media reported that a rocket has landed on Iranian soil as part of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The missile reportedly landed close to a residential area in a village called Mohammad Salehlou located in Khoda Afarin county, near the Armenian border. It is unclear who fired the rocket. No casualties or damages were reported.

This is the fourth rocket that lands in the Khoda Afarin border area. All three previous rockets had landed in non-residential areas, inflicting no casualties or damages.

16:53 GMT – Moscow urges parties to prevent use of foreign fighters

Russian Foreign Ministry said that illegal armed groups coming from Syria and Libya were being sent to the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, according to a statement.

Moscow called on both parties to prevent the use of foreign fighters and mercenaries in the conflict.

Two Syrian rebel sources have told Reuters that Turkey is sending Syrian rebel fighters to support Azerbaijan, which Turkey and Azerbaijan have denied.

A view shows a building in Martakert, which according to the Armenian Foreign Ministry was damaged by an air attack of Azeri armed forces [Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia via Reuters]

16:02 GMT – Moscow willing to host Azeri and Armenian talks: Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow was willing to host the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan for talks, a ministry statement cited him as saying.

He said Russia would continue to work both independently and together with other representatives of the Minsk group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to mediate in the conflict.

15:26 GMT – One person killed, three wounded in Azeri town of Horadiz: Azerbaijan Prosecutor

One person was killed and three wounded by Armenian fire on the town of Horadiz in southern Azerbaijan, said the Azeri Prosecutor’s Office.

14:40 GMT – An ‘all-out war’

Al Jazeera’s Robin Forestier-Walker, who has extensively covered developments in the region, said that videos being released from the contested region give the idea of “an all-out war”.

“The most committed observers to this conflict said that this is the worst they have seen since the ceasefire in 1994 that sort of froze this conflict.”

A man points at bloodstains on a road after a person was wounded in the city of Terter, Azerbaijan [Aziz Karimov/Reuters]

Both sides are making claims about how much success they had in the number of military infrastructures they destroyed. “It’s quite extraordinary,” said Forestier-Walker, adding that the Armenians reported destroying 137 tanks and armoured vehicles, 72 aerial vehicles, seven helicopters and aircraft.

“Azerbaijan is also making similar claims, perhaps in larger numbers, but certainly when we see the military videos that have been released – and some are really ghastly – it gives a sense that this is really an all-out war of the like we haven’t seen since the ’90s.”

13:45 GMT – Azerbaijan ‘determined’ to fight until Armenian troops’ withdrawal

Azerbaijan pledged to pursue military action against Armenian forces until their full withdrawal from the disputed territory.

“We only have one condition: Armenian armed forces must unconditionally, fully, and immediately leave our lands,” Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said in televised remarks.

Local residents take shelter in a dugout during the fighting over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the city of Terter, Azerbaijan [Aziz Karimov/Reuters]

If “the Armenian government fulfils the demand, fighting and bloodshed will end, and peace will be established in the region,” he added.

The two rival countries have so far rejected international calls for a halt to fighting and negotiations.

12:30 GMT – Azerbaijan President Aliyev thanks Turkey’s Erdogan for support

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev has thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his support, as fighting between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces entered a fourth day over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Erdogan said on Monday Azerbaijan must take matters into its own hands and Turkey would stand “with all its resources and heart” behind Baku.

Aliyev said Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkey all demonstrated support, but added Azerbaijan’s army did not need external help.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, centre, Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Turkey Hazar Zarif Ibrahimoglu, right, and deputy of Turkey’s governing party leader, Numan Kurtulmus, pose before a meeting, in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, September 29, 2020 [Cem Ozdel/Turkish Foreign Ministry/Pool/AP]

11:15 GMT – Three Armenian civilians killed in Nagorno-Karabakh town: Armenian state media

Armenia says three civilians have been killed in Martakert, a town situated in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, as a result of an Azeri attack, the state-run Armenpress news agency reported.

10:30 GMT – Russian military closely following Nagorno-Karabakh developments: Kremlin

The Kremlin has said Russia’s military was closely following developments over Nagorno-Karabakh and again urged the opposing sides to end hostilities.

09:40 GMT – Armenia publishes photos of wreckage it says is SU-25 warplane shot down by Turkish F-16 jet

Armenia has posted pictures on an online government platform of the wreckage of a plane it said was a SU-25 warplane, shot down by a Turkish fighter jet on September 29.

Turkey and Azerbaijan have denied Yerevan’s claim that a Turkish F-16 fighter jet shot down the Armenian plane, killing the pilot. On Wednesday, Armenia’s defence ministry named the pilot as Major Valeri Danelin.

09:15 GMT – ‘Will do what is necessary’: Turkish foreign minister

Turkey will back Azerbaijan with “every means available” in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said.

“We will do what is necessary … if Azerbaijan wants to resolve this [conflict] on the field,” Cavusoglu told state news agency Anadolu after being asked whether Turkey is providing military support to Baku.

Azerbaijan currently has the “capacity” to handle the situation on its own, Cavusoglu said.

08:45 GMT – Turkey says French solidarity with Armenia supports occupation in Azerbaijan

Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu has said French solidarity with Armenia amounted to supporting Armenian occupation in Azerbaijan.

He was speaking in an interview with state-run Anadolu news agency after French President Emmanuel Macron said Turkey’s “warlike” rhetoric was encouraging Baku to reconquer Nagorno-Karabakh.

A house that locals say was damaged during a recent shelling by Azeri forces, in the town of Martuni in the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region [Hayk Baghdasaryan/Photolure/Reuters]

08:07 GMT – Macron criticises Turkey’s “warlike” rhetoric on Nagorno-Karabakh

French President Macron has said Turkey’s “warlike” rhetoric was encouraging Azerbaijan to reconquer Nagorno-Karabakh and that was unacceptable, though he added he had no proof at this stage of direct Turkish involvement.

Fierce fighting broke out on Sunday between Armenian and Azeri forces over Nagorno-Karabakh. Turkey is an ally of Azerbaijan, with which it shares ethnic and cultural ties.

“I have noted Turkey’s political declarations [in favour of Azerbaijan], which I think are inconsiderate and dangerous,” Macron told a news conference in Latvia.

07:25 GMT – Armenia says no need for outside military help

Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who spoke by phone to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, said he is not at this point considering asking for help under a post-Soviet security treaty – but did not rule out doing so.

“Armenia will ensure its security, with the participation of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) or without it,” Russian news agencies quoted Pashinyan as saying.

He said he and Putin had not discussed the possibility of Russian military intervention in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Russia has used the CSTO, along with the Eurasian Economic Union, another regional bloc focused on trade, to project influence across most of the former Soviet Union.

07:00 GMT – Armenia not ready for Russia-mediated peace talks: PM

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan says peace talks with Azerbaijan under Russian mediation would be inappropriate, as fighting over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region entered a fourth day.

“It isn’t very appropriate to speak of a summit between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia at a time of intensive hostilities,” Pashinyan told Russia’s Interfax news agency. “A suitable atmosphere and conditions are needed for negotiations.”

06:35 GMT –  2,300 Armenian soldiers ‘neutralised’: Azerbaijan defence ministry

At least 2,300 Armenian soldiers have been killed or wounded by Azerbaijani troops since the conflict between the two countries began on Sunday, Azerbaijan’s defence ministry has said, according to an Anadolu Agency report.

Al Jazeera was not able to independently identify these numbers.

The ministry statement added that 130 tanks and armoured vehicles, more than 200 artillery and missile systems, approximately 25 air defence systems, six command and observation zones, five ammunition depots, 50 anti-tank guns and 55 cars were also destroyed.

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. I am Usaid Siddiqui in Doha, Qatar.

You can read the updates from September 29 here.


Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies