- Authorities says Talish and Hadrut under Artsakh control
- Shelling continues in Stepanakert, Martakert and Martuni
- Turkey’s F-16s monitor Azerbaijani drone activity
- Hundreds of undetonated Turkish and Israeli Bombs found in Stepanakert
- Artsakh facing humanitarian crisis
For a third day, Azerbaijani forces continued to violate the humanitarian ceasefire agreement reached on Saturday by continuing to shell civilian areas such as Stepanakert, Martuni and Martakert, and targeting Hadrut in the south and Talish in the north.
Armenia’s Defense Ministry representative Artsrun Hovhannisyan announced on Monday that Talish was not under Azerbaijani control, but the Artsakh Armed Forces have moved troops to the Talish-Mataghis area.
“The village [of Talish] is not under Azerbaijani control, but the Azerbaijani troops are in the vicinity of the village,’’ said Hovhannisyan.
Hovhannisyan stressed the Hadrut was under the complete control of the Artsakh Defense Army, which he said repelled continuous attacks by Azerbaijani forces.
“The insurgent intelligence operations have been thwarted and the enemy has been repelled. Hadrut is under complete control of Artsakh’s forces,’’ Hovhannisyan said, adding that starting from early morning Monday local time Azerbaijani armed forces resumed military operations, with the aim of invading the area.
“Azerbaijan has not implemented and has no plans to implement the ceasefire agreement. Announcements by Azerbaijan’s leadership that they were ready to do that are a complete lie,’’ Hovhannisyan said.
Hovhannisyan explained that Azerbaijan resumed attacks in three to four directions. ‘’Heavy artillery and combat UAVs were used in the direction of Martakert.Supported by the Turkish air forces, Azerbaijan carried out 36 combat flights, during which the Defense Army of Artsakh was able to down one SU-25 jet,’’ explained Hovhannisyan.
Turkey’s F-16 fighter jets continued to coordinate the Azerbaijan’s drone attacks.
“The Turkish air forces continue to control the activities of the Azerbaijani air forces. Particularly, with the support of air control points, six Turkish F-16 fighter jets accompanied Turkish and Israeli-made combat UAVs that fired on Artsakh’s structures, communication channels and armed forces. These acts are prevented by the air defense units of the Defense Army,’’ Hovhannisyan said.
The Air Defense units of the Artsakh Defense Army have shot down an Azerbaijani AN-2 unmanned bomber aircraft that had breached the airspace and was attacking Artsakh in the eastern direction Monday.
While de-mining specialists and Artsakh’s State Emergency Situations Services continue to clear explosives in civilian areas, they have discovered 673 undetonated Turkish- and Israeli-made cluster bombs in Stepanakert used by the Azerbaijani forces to shell Artsakh’s capital.
Head of the State Service Colonel Karen Sargsyan instructed to take the explosive out of Stepanakert and neutralize them in a safe zone.
Despite the continued aggression, the people of Artsakh are standing resolutely in defense of their homeland.
‘’The people of Artsakh are standing very firm today. Of course, there have been many families that have been taken to safer places for security reasons, but generally, the people of Artsakh, the Armenian people are standing firm and we are not planning to abandon our Homeland,’’ Artsakh President’s spokesperson Vaharm Poghosyan told the RFE/RL Armenian Service in an interview published Monday.
Since Azerbaijan began its brutal attack on Artsakh on September 27, it has been aided by Turkey-backed mercenaries from Syria, the presence of whom on the frontlines has been confirmed by France, Russia and the United States, despite Baku’s and Ankara’s continued denials.
An audio recording of radio communications between two Syrian mercenaries from Turkey to fight alongside Azerbaijani forces has surfaced online (see video below), shedding light on the current situation in the Azeri military and the growing discontent even among the mercenaries.
The two mercenaries, who identify themselves as Abu Ismail and Abu Hassan, are heard telling each other about the fighting.
Meanwhile Artsakh’s Human Rights Defender Artak Beglaryan warned that the people of Artsakh are facing humanitarian disaster, because Azerbaijan uses prohibited weapons that can for years endanger the lives of civilians, particularly children.
‘’We are facing humanitarian disaster. There are thousands, if not tens of thousands undetonated explosives in Stepanakert and other areas that can for years endanger the lives and health of civilians, particularly children,” Beglaryan said at a press briefing on Sunday.
“I want to emphasize this fact because at the age of 6 I myself was injured by an explosion of Azerbaijani mine and lost my eyesight after the war (the 1990s war). Hundreds of children like me lost their lives or health,” Beglaryan warned.
He said Azerbaijani forces deliberately use prohibited weapons in densely-populated areas of Artsakh to cause a humanitarian crisis.
‘’Adequate reaction and punishment is necessary. The international community has much to do to stop and prevent this humanitarian crisis as soon as possible,’’ said Beglaryan, whose office issued a detailed report about civilian losses suffered since the attacks began on Sept. 27.