Attacks break out on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which could reignite an old conflict

The Armenian Defense Ministry claimed that the Azerbaijani Armed Forces carried out artillery attacks on Armenian border towns on Tuesday morning. According to the Armenian Ministry of Defense, the attack included drones and large-caliber firearms fired in the direction of Goris, Sotk and Jermuk.

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry responded with a statement acknowledging the attacks, but said the attacks are “small-scale” and “aimed at ensuring the security of Azerbaijan’s borders.”

On Monday, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry accused Armenian forces of firing small arms in the direction of the Novoivanovka settlement of the Gadabay region and the Husulu settlement of the Lachin region, near the border of the two countries. Armenia denied the accusations.

In 2020, the two countries clashed over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, a landlocked area between Eastern Europe and Western Asia that is populated and controlled by ethnic Armenians but located on Azerbaijani territory.

The unrest in the region is decades old, dating back to the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the region, backed by Armenia, declared independence from Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has long claimed that it will take back the territory, which is internationally recognized as Azerbaijani.

On Tuesday, Armenia urged Russia to implement a 1997 defense treaty which stipulates that countries will defend each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty in the event of an attack by a foreign country.

“The decision was made to officially request the Russian Federation to implement the provisions of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the UN Security Council with regard to aggression against the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia,” read a statement from the Armenian Prime Minister’s office.

The request came after a session with the Armenian Security Council and a call between Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a statement from Pashinyan’s office.

Russia previously deployed what it called peacekeeping forces to the region after brokering a ceasefire deal in early November 2020, ending a nearly two-month conflict that has killed at least 6,500 people, according to Reuters.

Pashinyan also spoke with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday, calling for an “appropriate reaction” from the international community in response to what Pashinyan called “the aggression launched by Azerbaijan against the sovereign territory of Armenia,” he said. his office in a statement. statement.

On Monday night, Blinken called for an “immediate cessation of hostilities.”

“The United States is deeply concerned about reports of attacks along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, including attacks on settlements and civilian infrastructure inside Armenia,” Blinken said in a statement. “As we have long made clear, there can be no military solution to the conflict. We urge that any military hostility be ended immediately.”

CNN’s Hannah Ritchie contributed reporting.

Leave a Comment