Early Tuesday, Azerbaijan military launched a military offensive against Armenian civilians and military outposts in Nagorno-Karabakh, the land indigenously known to Armenians as Artsakh.
Footage from local journalists and residents show Azerbaijan bombs and missile strikes from combat drones hitting homes, businesses, and agriculture fields. At the time of publishing, five people have reported dead, and over a hundred have been wounded, with several children in critical condition.
For months prior to Tuesday’s attacks, Azerbaijan dictator Ilham Aliyev and the Azeri military have blocked all roads into Nagorno-Karabakh, cutting off food, medicine, fuel, and basic life supplies from reaching Armenians living there.
Trucks full of aid sit outside the Hakari Bridge at the Lachin Corridor, unable to pass through an illegal Azerbaijan checkpoint despite oversight from Russian peacekeepers. The Lachin Corridor is the only road that connects Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia.
This is not Azerbaijan’s first attack since the blockade of the Lachin Corridor. While residents struggle to get a mere loaf of bread and with miscarriages tripling from lack of a balanced diet, local farmers on multiple occasions have narrowly escaped artillery fire from Azeri military posts, stopping agriculture work for 120,000 Armenians already being strategically starved.
Azerbaijan has also attacked Armenia-proper in recent months. As recently as August, Azerbaijan attacked a military outpost near Akhprazdor, Armenia, fatally killing a 19 year old soldier.
Tuesday’s offensive, which continues to ensue in several waves, appears to be the most alarming since the end of the 2020 war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh and its land.
Hospitals have been filled with injuries from the explosion, and residents have begun taking shelter in bunkers. Many of them are women, children, and elderly.
Artsakh’s Ombudsman Gegham Stepanyan reports more than 7,000 people from 16 different cities and civilian communities have now been evacuated.
The shelling in the cities of Stepanakert and Askeran is a strategic provocation, with Azerbaijan ally and Turkey President Tayyip Erdoğan speaking at a UN General Assembly on Tuesday, stating that Turkey “support(s) the steps taken by Azerbaijan, where we act with the motto, ‘one nation, two states’ to protect territorial integrity” as Turkey and Azerbaijan stake claim that Nagorno-Karabakh is Azerbaijan territory.
While protests demanding the resignation of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan have progressed the last few years since a peace treaty was signed between Armenia and Azerbaijan, tensions escalated in Yerevan’s Republic Square throughout Tuesday and into the evening. Thousands have congregated and violence began between police and protestors. Stun grenades were used to disperse crowds and injuries from both police and protestors have been reported. Protests are expected to continue.
Through everything that has progressed and coverage by mainstream media outlets including New York Times, BBC, and CNN, three mothers successfully gave birth to their newborns amongst the Azerbaijan attacks.