- 19 Sep 2023 - 19:59(19:59 GMT)
‘Over 7,000 people evacuated from 16 settlements’ in Karabakh: Official
Separatists in the breakaway region said more than 7,000 people from 16 villages in the mountainous territory had been evacuated after Azerbaijan launched a military operation.
“Over 7,000 people have been evacuated from 16 civilian communities of Askeran, Martakert, Martuni, Shushi regions of Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabakh,” Gegham Stepanyan, Karabakh’s rights ombudsman, said in a statement on social media.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 19:43(19:43 GMT)
France’s Macron urges for dialogue in call with Armenian PM
In a call with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, French President Emmanuel Macron urged “an immediate resumption of discussions” to find a “just and lasting peace” between Armenia and Azerbaijan, calling for an “immediate cessation of the offensive”, according to a news statement.
Earlier, Macron had called on Azerbaijan to immediately end its military operation against the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 18:54(18:54 GMT)
Armenia warns of ‘mass turmoil’ over anti-government protests
Armenia’s security council has warned of large-scale unrest in the country after protesters took to the streets over the government’s handling of escalating tensions in the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
“There is currently a real danger of mass turmoil in the Republic of Armenia. The NSC [National Security Council] will take effective measures to maintain constitutional order in the country,” it said in a statement.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 18:31(18:31 GMT)
Protesters in Armenia call on PM to resign over Karabakh
Protesters in Armenia’s capital Yerevan have called on Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to resign after he denounced calls for a “coup” as Azerbaijan launched a military operation in Armenian-populated Karabakh.
Hundreds of people gathered in Yerevan’s Republic Square, outside Pashinyan’s offices, to denounce his handling of the Karabakh crisis, according to an AFP journalist on the scene, with demonstrators shouting “Nikol traitor!” and “Nikol resign!”
Armenia’s opposition has accused Pashinyan of being weak on Karabakh, a breakaway region populated mainly by ethnic Armenians over which Yerevan and Baku have been locked in a dispute for decades.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 17:43(17:43 GMT)
Armenian human rights official says 25 killed in Karabakh
Twenty-five people have been killed as a result of an Azerbaijan’s military offensive, a separatist Armenian human rights official in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh told Reuters.
Gegham Stepanyan said 138 people, including 29 civilians, had been wounded.
Al Jazeera could not verify his assertion.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 17:31(17:31 GMT)
Azerbaijan foreign policy adviser says civilians being used as ‘human shields’
Azerbaijan has launched a “local but limited counter-terrorism measures” aimed at striking military targets, the foreign policy adviser to President Ilham Aliyev told Al Jazeera.
In response to reports of at least 23 people having been wounded, including eight children, Hikmet Hajiyev said, “In no way is the Azerbaijan side targeting civilians. We have high-precision weapons and there are pre-determined military objectives.”
However, he said that “collateral damage” was likely unavoidable as civilians were being used as “human shields” in the contested region.
“We call on all civilians to take a safe distance from military targets,” he said.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 17:00(17:00 GMT)
Can Russia be an effective mediator between Azerbaijan and Armenia?
Russia has called for an end to hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh, with Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov saying Moscow had contacted both parties urging for renewed negotiations.
The Russian contingent deployed to Nagorno-Karabakh after the 2020 ceasefire hasn’t been able to prevent any of the Azerbaijani military actions since then, nor has it been able to bar Azerbaijan from establishing the blockade of the Lachin Corridor, a road linking Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. It is also unable to stop the current offensive.
Marie Dumoulin, Director of the Wider Europe Programme at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said that after mediating the 2020 ceasefire, Russia has been “unwilling to take sides in the conflict, effectively allowing Azerbaijan to steer the situation”.
“Whether Russia is now able to mediate a renewed ceasefire remains to be seen. This would probably come with a high political cost for the Armenian government,” Dumoulin said in a statement sent to Al Jazeera.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 16:46(16:46 GMT)
Turkey says Azerbaijan forced to act in Karabakh after concerns not alleviated
Turkey’s foreign ministry has said Azerbaijan was forced to take measures on its sovereign territory in Nargorno-Karabakh after its concerns were not alleviated following the 2020 conflict with Armenia in the region.
“As a result of its rightful and legitimate concerns about the situation on the ground that it voiced repeatedly not being alleviated in nearly three since the end of the Second Karabakh War, Azerbaijan was forced to take measures it deems necessary on its sovereign territory,” the ministry said in a statement.
“We believe that continuing the comprehensive talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia, which have been held meticulously until today, in a result-oriented manner is the only way to achieving peace, security, prosperity, and lasting stability in the region.”
The ministry also said the foreign ministers of Turkey and Azerbaijan discussed developments in the region on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 16:27(16:27 GMT)
Azerbaijan giving ‘ultimatum’ to Karabakh population: Analyst
The flare-up of tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia has been “nothing surprising”, Laurence Broers, Caucasus Programme director at Conciliation Resources, told Al Jazeera.
“There have been articles published on the Azerbaijani press calling for such an operation to take place” as a remedy to the “incomplete victory” achieved in 2020, the latest military escalation in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Broers added that Azerbaijan likely aims to achieve a situation where the presence of Russian soldiers – currently deployed as peacekeepers – will not be “imaginable or necessary.”
“Azerbaijan sees a once-in-a-generation opportunity to solve this conflict, which has afflicted the country for 30 years, on its terms,” he said. “There is a sense of an ultimatum being presented to the population.”
- 19 Sep 2023 - 15:52(15:52 GMT)
Foreign policy adviser says Azerbaijani forces break through line of contact
Azerbaijani forces have broken through a line of contact with Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh in several places and are determined to fulfil their strategic goals, Hikmet Hajiyev, foreign policy adviser to President Ilham Aliyev, told Reuters.
Armenia denied having any forces in the area. However, many Armenians have in the past volunteered to fight for Nagorno-Karabakh.
Hajiyev said Baku would only be ready to talk to the Karabakh Armenians once they had raised the white flag and disarmed. He said Azerbaijan had no military objectives in neighbouring Armenia.
“The intention of Azerbaijan is to close a chapter of animosity and confrontation,” he said. “Enough is enough. We cannot tolerate any longer having such armed forces on our territory and also a structure which, on a daily basis, challenges the security and sovereignty of Azerbaijan.”
- 19 Sep 2023 - 15:26(15:26 GMT)
Footage shows explosion flames rising in Nagorno-Karabakh
Azerbaijan Ministry of Defence has released footage showing explosion flames rising over a mountainous area which Azerbaijan says hosts Armenian forces’ positions in the breakaway territory of Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 15:18(15:18 GMT)
Azerbaijan to take army operation ‘to the end’ unless Armenians surrender
Azerbaijan will continue what it calls its “counter-terrorism operations” in Nagorno-Karabakh “until the end” unless Armenian military units surrender and give up their weapons, the state news agency quoted the presidential administration as saying.
It said the presidency was ready to meet representatives of the ethnic Armenians who control the breakaway mountain enclave within Azerbaijan.
“Nevertheless, for the antiterror measures to stop, the illegal Armenian military formations must raise the white flag, all the weapons must be handed over, and the illegal regime must be dissolved,” it said. “Otherwise, the antiterror measures will be continued until the end.”
In response to calls for negotiations, it claimed Armenians in the Karabakh region had been invited for dialogue on several occasions but “repeatedly rejected it”.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 14:55(14:55 GMT)
France to call UN Security Council meeting over Karabakh
French President Emmanuel Macron has told Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in a phone call that he will call for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council because of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenian government said on Tuesday.
“The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh after the attack of Azerbaijan was discussed. Both sides emphasized the inadmissibility of using force and the need to use international mechanisms for de-escalation,” it said in a statement.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 14:45(14:45 GMT)
Germany says Azerbaijan ‘broke its promise,’ urges restraint
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has said Azerbaijan had broken its promise not to resort to military action on Nagorno-Karabakh and demanded that it halt its military operations.
“Baku’s promise to refrain from military action was broken. Azerbaijan must immediately stop shelling and return to the negotiating table,” Baerbock said on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 14:30(14:30 GMT)
WATCH: Why is there new rising tension between Armenia and Azerbaijan?
The chaotic rapid collapse of the Soviet Uniin left some unresolved and complex political disputes.
One, between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, has killed or injured tens of thousands of people in conflicts since then.
Tensions are escalating once again. So why is this happening now – and where might it lead?
Watch Inside Story below.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 14:20(14:20 GMT)
Nagorno-Karabakh human rights ombudsman says two killed, 23 wounded
The Nagorno-Karabakh human rights ombudsman has said two civilians were killed and 23 wounded in attacks by Azerbaijan’s military.
At least eight of the wounded civilians were children, Gegham Stepanyan said, according to Reuters.
Previous reports indicated 11 people had been wounded, a number Al Jazeera was not able to independently verify.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 14:14(14:14 GMT)
Karabakh separatists suggest ceasefire, talks with Baku
The separatist leadership of Azerbaijan’s ethnic Armenian-populated region of Nagorno-Karabakh has proposed a ceasefire and talks with Baku, the authority’s press office said in a statement.
Separately, in an update on X, formerly known as Twitter, it said the intensity of fire along the line of contact with Azerbaijani forces had “significantly reduced”.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 14:04(14:04 GMT)
Russia in contact with Azerbaijan, Armenia: Kremlin
Russia is in touch with both Azerbaijan and Armenia and has urged negotiations in order to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.
Peskov told a briefing that Russia was concerned about the latest escalation and considered ensuring civilian safety the most important issue.
Earlier, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova had said Moscow was “deeply worried about the sharp escalation of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh”.
“Russia strongly encourages the conflicting sides to stop the bloodshed,” she told a news conference. “Stop the military actions at once and return to political and diplomatic settlement.”
- 19 Sep 2023 - 13:54(13:54 GMT)
Guterres to speak to Azerbaijani and Armenian delegates
United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric has called for all military activity in the Nagorno-Karabakh region to cease and for a “sustained and deep dialogue” to begin.
Dujarric told Al Jazeera UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres would speak to both Azerbaijan and Armenia’s delegations, which are currently in New York for the 78th session of the UN General Assembly.
“There is no doubt that this will be raised sooner rather than later,” Dujarric said.
Al Jazeera’s correspondent James Bays, reporting from the UN headquarters, said some world leaders were questioning the timing of Azerbaijan’s “anti-terrorist operations” and whether they were meant to coincide with the event in New York.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 13:36(13:36 GMT)
France pledges ‘strong response’ following Azerbaijani military operation
The French foreign ministry has said no pretext could justify the military operation Azerbaijan launched in Nagorno-Karabakh, adding it was calling for an immediate United Nations security council meeting following Baku’s move.
In a statement, France also said it was working with its partners to prepare a “strong response” to this “unacceptable offensive”.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 13:27(13:27 GMT)
EU calls on Azerbaijan to stop military activities in Karabakh
The EU has condemned the military escalation in Karabakh and called on Azerbaijan to stop its current military activities, the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement.
“There is an urgent need to return to dialogue between Baku and Karabakh Armenians. This military escalation should not be used as a pretext to force the exodus of the local population”, he said.
He added that the EU remained fully engaged in facilitating the dialogue between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 13:00(13:00 GMT)
Armenia PM says situation at the border is ‘stable’
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said his army was not involved in the fighting and the situation on the border was “stable”.
“Azerbaijan has begun a ground operation aimed at ethnic cleansing of Karabakh Armenians,” Pashinyan said in a TV address. “I declare that Armenia is not involved in armed actions and does not have an army in Karabakh,” he said.
“For the moment, the situation is stable along Armenia’s entire border [with Azerbaijan],” he added.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 12:46(12:46 GMT)
Human rights group claims two killed, 11 wounded
The Nagorno-Karabakh separatist Human Rights Ombudsman said two people died, including one child, after Azerbaijan launched a military offensive in the region.
It also said at least 11 people have been injured.
Al Jazeera was not able to independently verify the organisation’s report.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 12:33(12:33 GMT)
Image shows civilians running for shelter
An image appears to show civilians running for shelter in Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 12:25(12:25 GMT)
Armenia urges UNSC, Russia to end Azerbaijan’s operation
Armenia has called on the UN Security Council and Russia to take action to end the military operation launched by Azerbaijan.
“Clear and unambiguous steps to end Azerbaijani aggression” are needed, according to a statement from the foreign ministry in Yerevan circulated by Armenian media.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, meanwhile, has called an emergency meeting of the National Security Council over the escalation.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 12:17(12:17 GMT)
Watch: Fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh
- 19 Sep 2023 - 12:10(12:10 GMT)
Azerbaijan must ‘immediately’ stop military actions: EU chief
The European Council President Charles Michel urges Azerbaijan to “immediately” stop its military offensive.
“Devastating news coming from former Nagorno-Karabakh oblast today. Military actions of Azerbaijan must be immediately halted to allow for a genuine dialogue between Baku and Karabakh Armenians,” Michel wrote in a social media post.
Devastating news coming from former Nagorno-Karabakh oblast today.
Military actions of Azerbaijan must be immediately halted to allow for a genuine dialogue between Baku and Karabakh Armenians.
— Charles Michel (@CharlesMichel) September 19, 2023
- 19 Sep 2023 - 12:04(12:04 GMT)
Stepanakert under ‘heavy shelling’: Local authorities
Ethnic Armenian authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh said the region’s de facto capital, known as Stepanakert, and other cities were “under heavy shelling”.
“Azerbaijan is continuing its ethnic cleansing of Artsakh/Nagorno Karabakh by forcefully making 120k population leave their home,” officials said on social media.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 12:03(12:03 GMT)
What and where is Nagorno-Karabakh?
Nagorno-Karabakh, known as Artsakh by Armenians, is a landlocked mountainous area in the South Caucasus.
It was claimed by both Azerbaijan and Armenia after the fall of the Russian Empire in 1917 and has remained a point of tension ever since.
The territory is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan, but its inhabitants are predominantly ethnic Armenians and have their own government, which has enjoyed close links to the government in neighbouring Armenia but has not been officially recognised by it or other United Nations member states.
Armenians, who are Christians, claim a long historical dominance in the area, dating back to several centuries before Christ.
Azerbaijan, whose inhabitants are mostly Muslim, links its historical identity to the territory, too. It accuses the Armenians of driving out Azeris who lived nearby in the 1990s. It wants to gain full control over the enclave.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 12:00(12:00 GMT)
Armenia accuses Azerbaijan of attempting ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Karabakh
Armenia accuses Azerbaijan of unleashing “large-scale aggression” against the Armenian-populated separatist region of Karabakh and claimed Baku was attempting “ethnic cleansing” in the region.
“On September 19, Azerbaijan unleashed another large-scale [act of] aggression against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, aiming to complete its policy of ethnic cleansing,” Armenia’s foreign ministry said.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 11:43(11:43 GMT)
Armenia says it has no military presence in Nagarno-Karabakh
Armenia’s defence ministry accused Azerbaijani officials of spreading false information, saying there is no Armenian military equipment or personnel in Nagarno-Karabakh.
As previously,the #Azerbaijani official reports&mass media again continue to disseminate false statements as if there are #Arm AF units, mil equipment, and personnel in #Nagorno_Karabakh.
MoD of #Armenia has repeatedly stated that the RA doesn't have an army in Nagorno-Karabakh. pic.twitter.com/VAyQMRwwRG
— MoD of Armenia 🇦🇲 (@ArmeniaMODTeam) September 19, 2023
- 19 Sep 2023 - 11:33(11:33 GMT)
‘Great fear’ for an other large-scale war: AJ correspondent
Al Jazeera’s Robin Forestier-Walker, who has extensively covered events at Nagorno-Karabakh, said there was a “great fear” that this could be another large-scale war between the two countries.
Noting that the region has been under blockade since December last year, Forestier-Walker said reports from inside the region spoke of “large-scale attacks in the form of potentially rocket attacks and shelling”, while the sound of small arms fire could be heard in videos posted on social media.
Forestier-Walker said the situation has for months been “dire” for the population of Nagorno-Kabarakh.
“They have been cut off from the main roads supplying Karabakh from Armenia,” he added.
“Things have been shifting recently. The authorities in Azerbaijan were able to get some aid into Karabakh from the Azeri side of control but they were still putting pressure on the access of Karabakh from Armenia because the Azeri authorities have claimed for a long time that this route is being used to smuggle in weapons and mines into the territory that is still under ethnic Armenian control.”
- 19 Sep 2023 - 11:32(11:32 GMT)
UN spokesperson urges ‘sustained dialogue’ to avoid clashes
United Nations spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told Al Jazeera that the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh was “very concerning”.
“It’s very important that all the activities cease and both parties go back to a sustained dialogue to avoid any further clashes,” he said.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 11:30(11:30 GMT)
Russia ‘deeply alarmed’ by Azerbaijan military action in Nagorno-Karabakh
Russia said it is “deeply alarmed by the sharp escalation” in the contested region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
The reaction came from Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova after Azerbaijan announced military action, TASS news agency reported.
Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a six-week war from September 2020. The fighting killed more than 6,500 people and ended with a Russian-brokered truce that saw Yerevan cede territories it had controlled for decades.
Moscow has stationed peacekeepers in parts of Karabakh that remained under Armenian separatist control.
- 19 Sep 2023 - 11:29(11:29 GMT)
Azerbaijan announces offensive into Nagorno-Karabakh
Azerbaijan launched what it called “anti-terrorist operations” in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, stressing the offensive would only target Armenia’s military infrastructure.
“Local anti-terrorist activities carried out by the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan are ongoing,” said a defence ministry statement.
“As part of the activities, only legitimate military installations and infrastructure are targeted and incapacitated using high-precision weapons,” it said, adding humanitarian corridors were established to allow the evacuation of civilians.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies