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Karabakh war rejects ceasefire

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On Sunday night, another humanitarian truce began to operate between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but by the morning there were reports of mutual shelling and even the use of aviation. The sides placed the responsibility for the resumption of hostilities on each other. Yerevan announced about artillery shelling of its positions in the north of the contact line and rocket fire – in the south. However, Baku insists that the truce was thwarted by Armenian artillery. Against this background, the Azerbaijani army continued its offensive in the southern direction near the Khudaferin reservoir on the border with Iran and, as President Ilham Aliyev said, took control of the strategically important bridge over the Araks River.
The new, second in a row truce between Armenia and Azerbaijan became known less than two hours before its formal entry into force from midnight on October 18.
As stated in the diplomatic departments of Armenia and Azerbaijan, the decision to end hostilities was made following the calls of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries, as well as the agreements reached on October 9-10 in Moscow. Then, at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Jeyhun Bayramov arrived in the Russian capital and together with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held 11-hour talks, agreeing on a “humanitarian pause”
At the same time, as it immediately became clear, the parties do not have a unified position even on the issue of its time frame.
“The truce itself is indefinite, although some Azerbaijani officials say it has been announced for several days. There is nothing of the kind. If they talk about several days, it means they are going to resort to new actions, ”David Babayan, advisor to the president of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, said at a briefing in Stepanakert.
On Sunday morning, the press secretary of the Armenian Defense Ministry Shushan Stepanyan reported that at about 7:20 am “the enemy launched an offensive in the southern direction in order to take advantageous positions”, using artillery.
Baku, in turn, insists that the offensive of the Azerbaijani army was preceded by the breakdown of the truce by the Armenian side, which occurred on Sunday night.
“During the night, the armed forces of Armenia, using mortars and artillery in various directions, kept the tension at the front,” the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said. At seven o’clock in the morning, according to Baku, “the enemy made an attempt to attack in the Agderin, Fizuli, Hadrut and Jebrail directions.”
It was also about the use of large-caliber weapons in the Tovuz region, but, as residents of the region told Kommersant the day before, the shootings there have not stopped since the July escalation.
As the Azerbaijani side stated on Sunday, during the hostilities on Sunday it managed to shoot down the Su-25 of the Armenian Air Force, which was striking the positions of the Azerbaijani army (Yerevan denies the loss of its attack aircraft).
As stated in the Armenian Foreign Ministry, Baku “categorically rejected” the attempt of the International Committee of the Red Cross “to withdraw wounded soldiers from the battlefield.”
In turn, Baku announced its readiness to transfer the bodies of its dead servicemen to Armenia “along a previously agreed corridor in the direction of the Tovuz region of the state border.” Considering that the bodies of Armenian soldiers are located on the territory controlled by Azerbaijan, this proposal makes the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh optional.
The war of words broke out with renewed vigor over Turkey’s role in breaking the truce and escalating the conflict.
While Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday accused the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs (Russia, the United States and France) of providing military assistance to Armenia, the press secretary of the President of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Vagran Poghosyan, in an interview with Kommersant, laid another humanitarian disruption. truce to Turkey.
“By a strange coincidence, after the call to Cavusoglu (Turkish Foreign Minister – Kommersant), the first truce in Baku was disrupted on October 10, and after a new agreement, Cavusoglu called his Azerbaijani counterpart again, and Baku again refused to fulfill the obligations he had assumed earlier. “, – Mr. Poghosyan told Kommersant.
However, judging by the statement of the press secretary of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Leyla Abdullayeva, Baku was not at all going to stop the offensive deep into Nagorno-Karabakh.
“The goal of Azerbaijan is to liberate all lands, and this has been repeatedly said at the presidential level,” Ms Abdullayeva told CNN Turk TV channel. “We will go to the end, there can be no talk like“ a few villages have been liberated, let the rest remain. ” The purpose of this humanitarian truce is the exchange of prisoners and bodies of the dead, this is not the end of the war. The truce should in no way be perceived as an end to the liberation of our lands. ”
As an illustration of these words, the advance of the Azerbaijani troops continued throughout Sunday. President Ilham Aliyev said that they managed to take control of the strategically important Khudaferin bridge on the border of Azerbaijan and Iran (this is where the most large-scale battles are unfolding).
“The Azerbaijani armed forces raised the Azerbaijani flag over the ancient Khudaferin bridge,” Ilham Aliyev wrote on Twitter on Sunday (Khudaferin bridge connects the northern and southern banks of the Araks River).
In this critical situation in Armenia, the idea of ​​creating an operational headquarters for military-political issues is being discussed, which will include both the current and former leaders of the country who have extensive experience in waging war against Azerbaijan.
This idea was proposed by 13 opposition parties in the country, including the Republican Party of Armenia and Dashnaktsutyun, which formed the ruling coalition until the 2018 Velvet Revolution.
However, according to the Armenian political scientist Vigen Hakobyan, the authorities, led by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, will not agree to this proposal. “The authorities will not want to create a new body with powers. At the same time, the idea of ​​a consulting body can be accepted, ”Vigen Hakobyan told Kommersant.
Kirill Krivosheev, Baku; Hayk Khalatyan, Yerevan

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