Clashes broke out between Azerbaijani forces and Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh over the weekend. The Azeris and Armenians have both blamed the other side for preventing a peaceful settlement in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in the province.
Armenians today accused Azeri of blowing up towns in the Azeri province, but Azeris have refused and are ready to call a ceasefire. It is, however, subject to the condition that Armenian troops leave the battlefield.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo summoned Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers to a meeting on Friday in hopes of a ceasefire. Clashes in the province, which is part of Azerbaijan but most of the Armenians are living, continued over the weekend despite ceasefire efforts.
Russia’s two-day ceasefire has already been broken since the conflict broke out on September 27. Clashes over the province have not been as bad for about 26 years, or since the end of the three-year war in the province in 1994. About 30,000 people died in the war for the province.
The international community has expressed concern over the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh and wants to prevent more countries from getting involved in the conflict, it says in a Reuters report. Turkey has declared support for Azerbaijan, but Russia has a defense alliance with Armenia. Mike Pompeo accused the Turkish authorities of inciting the conflict by sending weapons to the Azeris, but the Turks have steadfastly denied this. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has called on the United States to help Moscow establish peace.
It is unclear how many people have died in the conflict, but Putin said last week that nearly 5,000 people had died in the conflict, more than 2,000 from each of the warring factions. However, the Ministry of Defense of Nagorno-Karabakh announced yesterday that 963 Armenians had died in the conflict. Azerbaijani authorities have not released how many of their soldiers have died, but 65 Azerbaijani civilians have been killed and 298 wounded.