An agreement for a ceasefire in Artsakh, announced in Washington Sunday, went into effect at 8 a.m. local time on Monday, but was quickly violated by Azerbaijan, when its forces began shelling Artsakh’s northern areas at 8:45 a.m.
Armenia’s Defense Ministry reported another attack on the Artsakh’s southeastern front at 9:10 a.m. Azerbaijan deployed Smerch multiple rocket launchers firing at the Zardarashen village in the Martuni region at 1:50 p.m.
Another Smerch attack on the Artsakh’s Askeran district killed a civilian and injured two others.
The Artsakh Human Rights Defender’s office reported that during an attack on tthe village of Avetaranots in the Askeran region, civilian, Gevorg Hambardzumyan, was killed, while two other civilians, Henrikh Adamyan and Andrey Hambardzumyan, were injured.
On Sunday afternoon, the State Department in a statement announced that Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Jeyhum Bayramov, had agreed to a ceasefire that would go into effect at 8 a.m. local time. The latest agreement—the third—was reached after two days of intensive negotiations in Washington where the two foreign ministers met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien.
Trump also took to social media to congratulate Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, hailing his administration’s effort to negotiating the ceasefire agreement.
Congratulations to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who just agreed to adhere to a cease fire effective at midnight. Many lives will be saved. Proud of my team @SecPompeo & Steve Biegun & @WHNSC for getting the deal done!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 25, 2020
As early as Sunday morning, Armenia had agreed to a ceasefire, while Azerbaijan had not, according to O’Brien, who told the CBS Sunday morning program Face the Nation, that the U.S. was working hard to convince Baku to agree to the proposed ceasefire.
The Azerbaijani misinformation campaign was in full gear on Sunday, when before the 8 a.m. the government, through social media posts, said that Artsakh forces were violating the ceasefire. That announced was soon removed and was followed by another, this time after 8 a.m., claiming that Artsakh forces were attacking the southern border. Soon after, Azerbaijani forces began attacking the northern front, once again breaking the ceasefire.
Armenia’s Defense Ministry said the Azerbaijani claims against Artsakh were aimed to provoke.
The defense ministry called for the immediate introduction of clear parameters for maintaining the ceasefire and the starting the process of exchanging bodies, detainees and other captives, mediated by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The violation of a third ceasefire agreement was described as “the Aliyev regime’s overt brazen attitude toward the entire civilized humanity” by Artsakh presidential spokesperson Vahram Poghosyan, who said that Artsakh had no alternative but to protect the country.