Azerbaijan Launches Deadly Attack on Artsakh

The Republics of Armenia and Artsakh have declared martial law after officials say Azeri forces launched a deadly, large-scale attack along the entire Line of Contact.

“We have declared several times that we don’t support war, but we are ready for it,” said Artsakh President Arayik Harutyunyan, stressing the responsibility of this latest aggression on Azeri leadership. “We didn’t want war. The war was imposed on us, and it is our duty to defend our homeland and families,” he continued.

Air strikes and artillery attacks against Artsakh began early Sunday morning, targeting peaceful settlements in Stepanakert, Askeran, Martakert, Martuni, Hadrut and Shushi where people have all taken shelter. Azerbaijani forces have been pushed back as heavy fighting continues at this hour. Artsakh officials say its defense units have destroyed four enemy helicopters, approximately 15 UAVs, more than a dozen drones and at least 10 tanks. Artsakh’s Ministry of Defense says its lands have not been taken under Azeri occupation despite reports from Azeri officials.

Artsakh’s Deputy Defense Minister Artur Sargsyan says at least 16 people have died so far; more than 100 people, including women and children in the capital, have been wounded. In addition to infrastructure destruction, the Office of the Human Rights Defender (HRD) of the Republic of Artsakh reports some schools were also damaged. The HRD’s analysis of the situation so far is that the Azerbaijani armed forces are specifically targeting civilian targets in direct violation of international humanitarian law.

The actions of the Azerbaijani side constitute an act of aggression against the Republic of Artsakh, which, in accordance with the provisions of the UN Charter, exercises its inherent right to self-defense and takes all necessary measures to repel the aggression and restore peace in the region,” stated Artsakh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the attacks. “The repeated act of aggression by Azerbaijan against the Republic of Artsakh leaves no doubt that the most effective response of the international community to Azerbaijan’s attempts to resolve the conflict by force is the recognition of the Republic of Artsakh,” continued the statement.

Artsakh’s Foreign Ministry says it is in direct contact with the Personal Representative of the OSCE Minsk Group, which also issued a statement that read in part, “We strongly condemn the use of force and regret the senseless loss of life, including civilians.” Co-Chairs Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Stephane Visconti of France and Andrew Schofer of the United States called on both sides to end hostilities and resume negotiations to find a sustainable resolution of the conflict. NATO supported the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group in its statement by James Appathurai.

In a harsh rebuke against Azerbaijan, the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) of which Armenia and Azerbaijan are both permanent observers expressed the group’s full support for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh and condemned Azerbaijan for ignoring UN calls to achieve a peaceful solution to the conflict. “We call on Azerbaijan to immediately cease hostilities, especially those directed towards civilians,” read the statement.

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The declarations of martial law by both PM Nikol Pashinyan and Artsakh President Harutyunyan have compelled thousands to prepare themselves for war and defend their homeland. Hundreds from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) and the Nikol Aghpalyan Student Association have mobilized and gathered near the statue of Aram Manoukian, ready to head to the Line of Contact. The ARF Bureau and Supreme Council of Armenia have declared unconditional and complete support of the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh while strongly condemning the actions of Azerbaijan and calling on the international community to do the same. “With all of its pan-Armenian capabilities, [the ARF] stands resolute with the Armenian army. From this moment forward, we are all soldiers of the Armenian army, ready for any military operation,” read an ARF Armenia statement. For its part, the ARF Bureau places responsibility for the attacks on both Azerbaijan and Turkey, stating, “We call on Turkey to end its involvement in the conflict and to demonstrate a constructive stance in the region. We will take all necessary steps to counter the offensive policies of Azerbaijan and Turkey.”

In a fiery address on the floor of the National Assembly, Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan asserted that “not a single millimeter of the motherland will be surrendered.” “I have come here to say what I am ready for. I am ready to be martyred. Armenians have never kneeled; it will never happen,” exclaimed the PM just days after his address to the UN General Assembly in which he summarized Azerbaijan’s first attempt at destabilizing the region when it attacked Tavush back in July and noted Turkey’s unyielding support for Azerbaijan’s lack of restraint. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also commented on Sunday’s developments, tweeting “By attacking Azerbaijan yet again, Armenia has once more demonstrated that it is the largest threat to peace and tranquility in the region. The Turkish nation with all its capabilities today, as always, stands with its Azerbaijani brothers.”

This is a developing story. Further updates will be provided. In addition, the ARF-Eastern Region once again is seeking support for the With Our Soldier Program.


  1. As usual, Russia who calls itself an ally of Armenia will call on both sides to de-escalate the conflict, even though Azerbaijan was clearly the aggressor. Thank you Russia

    • I don’t care about who condemns who. It’s not like it does anything anyway. Everybody demonizes Russia no matter what they do. As long as they continue cooperating with us militarily and prevent a Turkish invasion, then it is fine to appear neutral. The fighting is between Artsakh and Azerbaijan, not the Republic of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

      I would rather we not focus on cheap diplomatic statements and focus on the actual reality on the ground. They have already been cooperating with us.

  2. I deeply enjoyed watching those Azerbaijani tanks get blown up by the Armenian military forces. Those extremely well-trained Armenian soldiers are really clobbering the crap out of the Azerbaijani military, which also includes four thousand mercenary soldiers that were brought in by Turkey. Surprisingly, the military weapons that the Azerbaijanis have been using over the past day, have not been Israeli; they’ve been Turkish military weapons; however, these newly acquired Turkish military weapons have not improved their performance as compared to their Israeli military weapons.

    What will Prime Minister Pashinyan do, when the Azerbaijanis immediately call for a cease-fire as soon as the Armenian military forces begin to advance into Azerbaijani territory? It will indeed be a failure if Pashinyan accepts this “cease-fire” from Azerbaijan. Without losing any territory, the Azerbaijanis will simply regroup and continue on with their skirmishes until they feel confident enough to launch another all-out terrorist attack. Therefore, if Pashinyan is at least a little bit smart, he will not accept any kind of “cease-fire” from Aliyev, and instead, will have his military forces advance towards Baku, while grabbing as much territory as possible (there still remain several Armenian lands, which are occupied by Azerbaijan); and along the way, destroying Azerbaijan’s oil pipelines, which would severely damage its economy. After that, the Azerbaijanis will be in no position to put up any kind of fight against the Armenians. Therefore, as a result of those remaining Armenian lands being liberated, combined with a heavily damaged Azerbaijan, this would finally be the end of Azerbaijan’s campaign of terrorism against Artsakh and Armenia.

    • Destroying Azerbaijan’s oil pipelines definitely would be beneficial, since the world would lose interest in it. This would also dampen Azeri-Turkish relations, which would provide Armenia with some relief.

  3. One last comment, It is better if the Russians don’t publicly say anything, since NATO would accuse them of being intrusive, despite that their fellow member Turkey is sticking its nose in this. Diplomatic condemnations would draw the ire of the EU, UN, NATO, and many other organizations.

    It is better for them to just support us on the down low.

    • Your comment hasn’t aged well. 4 days later, Turkey has shot an Armenian plane over Armenian air space, over 80 Armenian servicemen have died, and Russia is doing what ?

      I don’t see why so many Armenians can’t see that Russia doesn’t give a dam about Armenia and would readily watch us be slaughtered without bating an eyelid. Whatever inaction Russia exhibits is always brushed over by some Armenians “well their just being diplomatic”, “they are secretly on our side they just don’t like to openly support us”. We need to stop being in denial about Russian inaction.

  4. No, my comment has aged just fine, Greg. Russia has continued to deliver weapons through Iran and even reportedly has PMCs in Artsakh. If you want someone to blame, then look no further than the western allies that some Armenians have been looking to for the past two years. Their obsession with undermining Iran and Russia through arming and providing diplomatic cover to Turkey has emboldened the likes of Erdogan, and their monster has gone insane. They seem powerless to stop him.

    However you are right on one thing, in that Putin’s failure to disavow and condemn Erdogan has me feeling he is either compromised or just plain delusional.

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