YEREVAN (VOA) – Azerbaijan on Tuesday, September 19 began what it called an “anti-terrorist operation” targeting Armenian military positions in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and officials in the area reported heavy artillery firing around its capital.
The Azerbaijani defense ministry announced the start of the operation hours after four soldiers and two civilians died in landmine explosions in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The reports raised concerns that a full-scale war over the region could resume between Azerbaijan and Armenia, which fought heavily for six weeks in 2020.
The ministry did not immediately give details, but said “positions on the front line and in-depth, long-term firing points of the formations of Armenia’s armed forces, as well as combat assets and military facilities are incapacitated using high-precision weapons.”
The Azerbaijani statement said, “Only legitimate military targets are being incapacitated.”
But ethnic Armenian officials in Nagorno-Karabakh said in a statement that the region’s capital Stepanakert and other villages were “under intense shelling.”
Earlier Tuesday, Azerbaijan said six people were killed in two separate explosions in the region that is partly under the control of ethnic Armenian forces.