Azerbaijani forces continued their aggression against Artsakh, ignoring a humanitarian ceasefire agreement that went into effect at noon local time Saturday, by launching attacks on the southern borders of Artsakh at 12:05 p.m. targeting the Hadrut region, reported Armenia’s Defense Ministry.
Hadrut continues to remain under complete control of Artsakh, the republic’s president Arayik Harutyunyan declared on Saturday saying “I just returned from Hadrut.”
“As you know, by ignoring the humanitarian ceasefire agreement, the enemy had launched a sabotage raid in the direction of Hadrut. Currently the situation is under the full control of the Defense Army,” added Harutyunyan who said he would elaborate on ceasefire breaches during a press conference on Sunday.
Hadrut has been a target of Azerbaijani attacks for several days now, with Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev falsely claiming on Friday, during a nationally-televised speech, that his forces had taken over the area.
That distortion was debunked because as he was making the announcement, Armenia’s Defense Ministry representative Artsrun Hovhannisyan was in Hadrut from where he said: ‘’I am in Hadrut right now and ‘for some reason’ I only see Armenians here.’’
Reporters from the Russian WarGonzo news site were posting photos from Hadrut on the Telegram social media site saying “the town is under the control of the [Artsakh] Defense Army.’’
The Artsakh Defense Ministry on Saturday said that Azerbaijani forces made a sabotage-reconnaissance infiltration attempt in the direction of Hadrut before the ceasefire went into effect.
“Prior to the establishment of the humanitarian ceasefire, the Azerbaijani side launched a sabotage-reconnaissance infiltration attempt in the direction of Hadrut. Although three hours have passed since the establishment of the ceasefire, the countermeasures for blocking and neutralizing the incursion team continue. It is relatively calm in the other sections of the frontline,” said the Artsakh Defense Ministry
“Azerbaijan’s actions are perhaps dictated with the purpose of proving Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s statement of yesterday on having captured Hadrut,” added the Artsakh Defense Ministry.
Artsakh’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday condemned Azerbaijan’s blatant violation of the humanitarian ceasefire agreement.
“Particularly egregious is the fact that the three-way axis of Azerbaijan, Turkey and international terrorist groups have launched an offensive immediately after the Defense Army of the Republic of Artsakh announced cessation of fire, as part of the humanitarian truce. Azerbaijan’s actions have once again demonstrated that it is a rogue country, which is not willing to fulfill its obligations even for minutes,” said the foreign ministry in an announcement.
“Today’s deceitful attack is conclusive evidence that Azerbaijan uses the negotiations exclusively as a cover for planning military aggression,” said the foreign ministry.
“Under these conditions, the recognition of the independence of the Republic of Artsakh remains the only way for the international community to stop the rogue country. The international recognition will provide the necessary legal and political mechanisms to guarantee peace and security both for the Republic of Artsakh, and for the entire region,” added the Artsakh foreign ministry.
“The Azerbaijani armed forces are trying to use the hours left until the ceasefire, but our army is heroically fulfilling its mission by successfully repelling all kinds of attacks,” Hovhannisyan, the Armenian Defense Ministry representative said on Saturday before the ceasefire agreement went into effect.
“Combat operations of varying intensity continue at the frontline. More intense battles are taking place in the southern direction. The enemy is widely deploying combat drones. The Defense Army units are successfully withstanding the enemy attack dealing suffering blows through strikes,” the Artsakh Defense Ministry said Saturday.
Firefights and rocket-artillery attacks continue in isolated sections, added the defense ministry. Azerbaijani forces also continued shelling Stepanakert ahead of the noon ceasefire.
Azerbaijani forces bombed the the village of Artsvanik in Armenia’s Syunik Province using combat drones, Armenia’s Defense Ministry spokesperson Shushan Stepanyan said.
“The enemy has used an attack UAV in the direction of the Yeritsvank village of Artsakh, and also the Artsvanik settlement in the Kapan region of Syunik Province in Armenia. There are no casualties,” she said.
Azerbaijani forces have increased the use of combat drones in Artsakh’s southern border after the ceasefire announcement was made.
“The enemy is maliciously attempting to change the situation until the cessation of hostilities at 12 p.m. on October 10 that has been declared for humanitarian purposes. The Artsakh Defense Army units are ready to neutralize the enemy’s attack intentions,” added Stepanyan.