Armenian forces have fired multiple ballistic missiles at Azerbaijani civilians and the public infrastructure, said Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry on Thursday.
“On Oct. 22 in the morning, the territory of Azerbaijan was exposed to ballistic missiles fired using the operational-tactical missile complex from the territory of Armenia,” the ministry said in a statement.
It added: “The enemy fired 3 missiles in the direction of the Siyazan region at about 07.00 [0300GMT], 2 missiles in the direction of the Gabala region, and 1 missile in the direction of the Kurdamir region at about 09.00 [0500GMT].”
According to the statement, the missile attack did not claim any lives but material losses have yet to be announced.
Upper Karabakh conflict
Relations between the ex-Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Upper Karabakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh.
Fresh clashes erupted on Sept. 27, and the Armenian army has since continued its attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces, even violating humanitarian cease-fire agreements.
Four UN Security Council resolutions and two from the UN General Assembly as well as international organizations demand the “immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces” from Azerbaijani territory.
In total, about 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory – including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions – has been under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group – co-chaired by France, Russia and the US – was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail. A cease-fire, however, was agreed to in 1994.
World powers including Russia, France and the US have called for a sustainable cease-fire. Turkey, meanwhile, has supported Baku’s right to self-defense and demanded the withdrawal of Armenia’s occupying forces.
* Writing by Ali Murat Alhas
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