Azeri forces fired on the village of Davit Bek in the Armenian province of Syunik for the second time in a week, killing one civilian and injuring two others.
Monday’s fatal attack represents the latest in a string of hostilities waged in Armenia’s southernmost province of Syunik. On October 10, drone strikes in the direction of the Artsvanik and Yeritsvank communities killed one civilian and wounded three others. On October 16, two Azerbaijani unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were identified flying in the direction of the Khnatsakh, Artsvanik and Davit Bek settlements and shot down. Then, just three days ago on October 30, Davit Bek was subjected to artillery fire.
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Weekly correspondent @raffi_elliott reports from the village of Davit Bek in the Armenian province of Syunik on Sunday following intense shelling late last week. We are now learning, according to Armenia MoD press secretary Shushan Stepanyan, that Azeri forces opened artillery fire in this very direction moments ago…killing one civilian & injuring two others. #stopazeriaggression #recognizeartsakh #armenia #artsakh
Civilian settlements in Artsakh also came under fire throughout the night, as the Azerbaijani military continues to target civilian-populated towns and infrastructure. Missiles launched from MB-21 Grad and BM-30 Smerch multiple rocket launchers and military aviation were deployed towards Martuni and Martakert. As a result of shelling in the province of Martuni on November 1, one civilian, a 53 year-old named Armo Avanesyan from Khnushinak village, was reported dead today. According to their latest figures, Armenian officials say 45 civilians have died in Artsakh; two people have died in Armenia. Artsakh’s Deputy Defense Minister Artur Sargsyan was listed among the dead on Monday, bringing the number of military casualties to 1,177.
The intensity of the battles along the Line of Contact (LoC) has heightened in the past few days, as positions shift and persistent attacks are continually repelled, reported Ministry of Defense representative Artsrun Hovhannisyan during his evening press briefing. The Artsakh Defense Army fought back offensives launched in the northern, northwestern, central and southern directions of the LoC throughout the evening and daytime. While the Armenian forces succeeded in securing several positional advances, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces captured one or two positions south of Martuni in the direction of the town of Chartar. “In general, the situation is under the control of the Armenian armed forces,” Hovhannisyan said. “All of the movements of the adversary are registered and targeted mainly by artillery fire.”
Officials in Artsakh are also facing an ecological disaster ignited by Azerbaijan’s illegal deployment of white phosphorus munitions on forested regions in the Republic. At least 1,815 hectares have burned so far, according to Artsakh Ombudsman Artak Beglaryan, who emphasized the deliberate acts of making the region uninhabitable as yet another example of Azerbaijan’s ongoing war crimes. In the village of Nngi in the Martuni region, 150 hectares of community-owned forests are burning for the third day in a row.
#Azerbaijan deliberately burns forests of #Artsakh/#Karabakh, already at least 1815 ha, but still enlarging.
These #WarCrimes undermine #environmental security in the whole region and contain long-term effects for the life & #health of the people & #sustainability.#DontBeBlind pic.twitter.com/bH70ck5byh
— Artak Beglaryan (@Artak_Beglaryan) November 2, 2020
The future of Artsakh’s youngest generation is also at risk. The widespread destruction of educational facilities in Artsakh as a result of targeted attacks has deprived the Republic’s children of the right to an education. According to the Office of the Artsakh Human Rights Ombudsman, 61 schools and 10 kindergartens have been severely damaged.
“Such attacks must stop and those responsible for carrying them out, or ordering them, must be held to account,” warned UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet in a newly-released statement on Monday in which she referred to last month’s widely circulated and independently verified videos of the execution of two Armenians dressed in military uniforms in Hadrut as “compelling” and “deeply disturbing information.” Bachelet also mentioned a deadly October 28 attack on the Azerbaijani town of Barda, in which Armenian military officials have strongly refuted any involvement.
Meanwhile in France, AFP is reporting the country’s Interior Minister wants to ban the Turkish ultra-nationalist organization known as Grey Wolves. According to local news sources, the issue will be presented to the French cabinet on Wednesday after the vandalism of the Armenian Genocide memorial as well as the tagging of the building belonging to Consultate General of Armenia in Lyon. Late last month, videos surfaced of large, anti-Armenian demonstrations chanting threats on the streets of the French city.
Back in Yerevan, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is commenting on the involvement of Syrian mercenaries following newly-released footage of interrogations over the weekend. PM Pashinyan asserted that this comprehensive evidence represents a threat to global security and demands an international investigation. “Azerbaijan, with a population of 10 million and huge oil revenues, admitted after July 2020 that it was unable to solve its security problems on its own and turned to thousands of mercenaries for help,” he wrote on Facebook.