Azerbaijan is supported by Turkey while Armenia has a defence pact with Russia
Tobi Johnson with media reports |
Azerbaijan has threatened to retaliate Armenia’s rocket attacks and death of a civilian and the four who suffered various degree of injuries in the city of Ganja, by destroying Armenia military targets, further aggravating the weel-long tensions in the South Caucasus.
Initially, fighting has been between Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian enclave inside Azerbaijan, and Azerbaijan, but now, threatens a direct war with Armenia.
“Azerbaijan will destroy military targets directly inside Armenia from which shelling of its population centres is taking place,” presidential aide Hikmet Hajiyev said.
He said there were also civilian casualties in another Azeri region, Beylagan, which borders Nagorno-Karabakh.
Armenia denied it had directed fire “of any kind” towards Azerbaijan. The leader of Nagorno-Karabakh said his forces had targeted a military airbase in Ganja but later stopped firing in order to avoid civilian casualties.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said: “The attacks of Armenia targeting the civilians in Ganja…are a new manifestation of Armenia’s unlawful attitude. We condemn these attacks.” Ganja, has a population of 335,000, and is about 100 km (60 miles) north of the Karabakh capital Stepanakert and 80 km from the Armenian city of Vardenis.
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said on Twitter handle that his forces had captured the town of Jabrail and several villages in a significant advance on the southern edge of Nagorno-Karabakh but the Armenian defence ministry spokeswoman Shushan Stepanyan dismissed the claim as “yet another fabrication”.