Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire broke, says Russian army | Asia News

Armenia and Azerbaijan accuse each other of violating the peace agreement that ended six weeks of fighting over the disputed territory.

The Russian military has reported a violation of the November ceasefire that ended the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region.

“A case of violation of the ceasefire was reported on December 11 in Hadrut district,” a statement from the Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday, without assigning any blame.

Russia has peacekeepers in the region, much of which was claimed by Azerbaijan last month after being held by Armenian forces for more than a quarter of a century.

It was Russia’s first report of a violation since the peace agreement was reached on November 10.

Armenia and Azerbaijan on Saturday accused each other of violating the agreement, which ended six weeks of fierce fighting over the disputed territory, with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev threatening to crush Armenian forces with an “iron hand.” .

“Armenia should not try to start over,” Aliyev said during a meeting with top diplomats from the United States and France, who have tried to mediate the decades-long conflict.

“You have to be very cautious and don’t plan any military action. This time, we will destroy them completely. It shouldn’t be a secret from anyone. “

Earlier on Saturday, Nagorno-Karabakh forces said three of their fighters had been wounded in an attack by Azerbaijani forces.

The Armenian army also reported attacks from Azerbaijan against two villages that are under the control of Nagorno-Karabakh forces.

Armenian officials said the fighting broke out near the villages of Hin Tager and Khtsaberd, the only settlements in the Gadrut region still controlled by Armenian forces.

A spokesman for the Russian peacekeeping forces confirmed “exchanges of fire with automatic weapons”, and told the Ria Novosti press agency that requests to respect the ceasefire had been sent to both sides.

Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but it is populated and, until recently, fully controlled by ethnic Armenians after a bloody war in the 1990s that saw them take over peripheral regions belonging to Azerbaijan.

In 44 days of fighting that began in late September and left more than 5,600 dead on both sides, the Azerbaijani army pushed into Nagorno-Karabakh, forcing Armenia to accept last month’s peace agreement that saw Azerbaijan regain significant territory.

Russia deployed nearly 2,000 peacekeepers for at least five years to oversee the peace agreement and facilitate the return of refugees.

Azerbaijan marked its victory with a military parade on Thursday attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and involved more than 3,000 soldiers, dozens of military vehicles and a flyover of fighter jets.