BREAKING: Azerbaijan launches full-scale attack on Armenia

Azerbaijan has launched a deadly attack across several regions of Armenia’s eastern border.

The Ministry of Defense of Armenia reported “intensive shelling” of Armenian positions in Sotk, Vardenis, Goris, Kapan, Jermuk, Artanish and Ishkhanasar, as well as civilian infrastructure. Armenian officials say that Azerbaijan is using combat drones, artillery and large caliber firearms. The attacks started shortly after midnight on September 13. The towns and villages under attack are located in the Syunik, Gegharkunik and Vayots Dzor provinces along Armenia’s eastern border with Azerbaijan. 

Armenia’s defense officials are reporting an unverified number of casualties. As of 4:00 a.m., the MoD of Armenia said that the fighting along the border continues with “unabated intensity” and that the Azerbaijani military have taken “positional advancement actions.”

Armenian Ombudswoman Kristine Grigoryan said that civilian infrastructure, including residential homes, are being targeted by Azerbaijani forces. The human rights defender’s office has received calls that Kapan, Goris, Jermuk, Vardenis and other communities have been under heavy shelling since midnight, placing their civilian populations at “great danger.” 

The Security Council Coordinator of Goris Artur Hojabaghyan told reporters that the sounds of shelling could be heard in Goris. He urged residents to take refuge in shelters rather than attempt to leave the town. 

The MoD of Azerbaijan confirmed the attacks, stating that they were in response to “provocations” and a “large-scale sabotage” by the Armenian side, which Armenian military officials have called “an absolute lie.” Azerbaijan’s MoD said that members of the Armenian armed forces planted mines in the Kelbajar and Lachin districts, which were ceded to Azerbaijan at the end of the 2020 Artsakh War. 

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan chaired a Security Council session in the hours following the start of the attacks. The council decided to formally apply to Russia under the provisions of a mutual defense agreement, as well as to the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the UN Security Council, “regarding the aggression against the sovereign territory of the Republic Armenia.” 

Before that meeting, PM Pashinyan had a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin to provide “details about the provocative, aggressive actions by the Azerbaijani armed forces” against sovereign Armenian territory. The Armenian PM also spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron and informed him about the “provocative and aggressive military operations” against Armenia. The PM “emphasized the importance of an adequate reaction of the international community,” readouts of each call from the PM’s office say. 

Pashinyan and Putin “agreed to keep in operational contact,” according to the statement. Meanwhile, Macron “considered further escalation of tension unacceptable.”

US-based human rights organization Freedom House said that it was “alarmed by reports of Azerbaijani Armed Forces intensively shelling the southern Armenian settlements of Goris, Jermuk, Vardenis and Sotk.” “We call for an immediate ceasefire and urge both parties to find a peaceful resolution,” Freedom House tweeted.

US Representative Adam Schiff, a longtime advocate of the Armenian American community and vice-chair of the Congressional Armenian Caucus, is demanding an immediate end to US arms and aid to Azerbaijan after its “egregious violation of the ceasefire and direct attack on Armenia’s sovereignty.”

Congressional Armenian Caucus co-chair US Representative Jackie Speier also expressed her outrage. “These are internationally recognized Armenian towns, NOT disputed territory,” she tweeted. “It’s unconscionable that the US continues to provide Aliyev with military aid.”

Just a day before these ongoing attacks, authorities from Artsakh reported that the Azerbaijani armed forces opened fire on Armenian positions in Karmir Shuka and Taghavard in the Martuni region of Artsakh. The firing began at 4:00 in the morning on September 12 and lasted for 30 minutes. Two residential homes in Karmir Shuka and one home in Taghavard were damaged, according to the Artsakh Ombudsman Gegham Stepanyan. 

Officials in Artsakh said that as of 1:50 a.m. on Tuesday, the Artsakh border is relatively stable. 

The attacks follow two weeks of daily accusations of ceasefire violations against Armenia issued by the MoD of Azerbaijan, all of which the Armenian MoD denied.  

Meanwhile, on September 5, 19-year-old Armenian soldier Arman Gagik Sargsyan was killed by Azerbaijani fire while stationed at an Armenian military post in Gegharkunik. Three days later, the Armenian MoD said that the Azerbaijani armed forces fired at Armenian positions along the southeastern part of the Armenia-Azerbaijan border. It reported no casualties. 

On September 10, the Azerbaijani Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov convened a meeting with the top military commanders, during which they were “ordered to be ready to suppress any provocation immediately and decisively.” 

Armenian politicians have warned that Azerbaijan could renew its provocations, following the continuous accusations of ceasefire violations by the Azerbaijani MoD and the outcome of the Defense Ministry meeting. 

“We all know that when Azerbaijan plans its latest border provocation, it organizes a pretext based on false information to legitimize that provocation, before carrying it out,” Armenia’s ambassador-at-large Edmon Marukyan wrote on Facebook on September 12. 

“All actors in the international community who are interested in the Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process and the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, must carefully follow and clearly understand that once again Azerbaijan has started the preparatory process for a provocation,” Marukyan continued. 

This is a developing situation. We will provide updates as they become available. 

Lillian Avedian

Lillian Avedian

Lillian Avedian is a staff writer for the Armenian Weekly. Her writing has also been published in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Hetq and the Daily Californian. She is pursuing master’s degrees in journalism and Near Eastern Studies at New York University. A human rights journalist and feminist poet, Lillian's first poetry collection Journey to Tatev was released with Girls on Key Press in spring of 2021.
Lillian Avedian

@LillianAvedian

Graduate student @GloJo_NYU and @nyukevo. Staff writer @armenianweekly. Editorial intern @DAWN_Journal.
@LeezaYeretzian I'm so sorry, Leeza. This type of community pressure regarding issues that should be entirely personal is unacceptable. - 2 days ago

21 Comments

  1. Putin is allowing these Azeri invasions to happen despite Russia and the CSTO’s treaty obligations with Armenia.

    So few Armenians have acknowledged this publicly that one has to ask whether most Armenians are in a comma. What is it going to take to wake them up?

    Putin’s objective is to have Azerbaijan pound Armenia over the head so that Armenia will give up, depose Pashinyan, and perhaps become a Russian Union State, such as Belarus. Russia seeks total control because it is an imperialist country.

    I am not defending the evil, pan-Turkic NATO and EU.

    What I find truly amazing is that it is only the very rarest of Armenians anywhere who will criticize Russia one iota.

    I am not defending Pashinyan, but clearly Armenians are afraid to speak the truth about Russia.

    People say Russia is an ally of Armenia. This is clearly not true.

    The relationship between Armenians and Russia is deeply psychologically sick and has been for a long, long time.

  2. It’s well known that Armenia strategy is to drag Russia and the international community to fight for them. Armenias should stop playing the provocateour and victim game and instead sign the peace agreement with Azerbaijan and Turkey.

    • That nonsense is probably only well-known to you and mentally-handicapped people like you that it is what Armenia does. Not at all. Armenia does not need others to do the fighting for them like artificial criminal Azerbaijan does with its petrodollars just like they did when they bought and paid for the 2020 war fought for them by half dozen terrorist states and paid-ISIS mercenaries.

      What Armenia needs is weapons and to force terrorist Turkey and two-faced Russia out of this conflict. In absence of these two manipulators, when artificial Azerbaijan faces Armenia alone then we will see how Armenia will put the last nail on artificial Azerbaijan’s coffin. Despite all its resources, artificial Azerbaijan is nothing without her terrorist sponsors. We proved that to them and to the world thirty years ago already!

    • Simple your submission may seem.but don’t you think signing the Peace agreement amount to capitulation?

  3. Only war news against Armenia will make the dictator’s grip over his uncontrollable brainwashed spectators happy in a dictatorial regime. God bless Armenia.

  4. Pashinyan is a coward and maybe also a traitor, he has had 2 years to reform and professionalise the Army and all he has come up with is an ” Armenian ” drone which is expensive and probably useless. It’s likely not to be used like the Armenian jets that were not used in the 6 week war.
    It is more than obvious that the secretive Pashinyan has agreed with Russia , Turkey and Azerbaijan that Artsakh is to be handed over to Aliyev surreptitiously over a 3 or 4 year period, driving out the original 150,000 Artsakhians, killing them and raping them. Artsakh needs to arm itself somehow, with snipers, Russian missile systems ( or Chinese if Putin won’t sell them ), and a modern army. Conscription of every male at 16 years of age should be introduced, followed by 2 years of intense training. Then Artsakh might survive. If not, Aliyev will then turn his attention to Syunik and Gehardkunik, and then Armenia.

    • I think it is time for Operation Nemesis Part Two. I don’t know how feasible and realistic that is at this time and won’t require billions in military spending and loss of life in tens of thousands either. But if about a dozen enemy top leadership and their collaborators, who are the ones responsible for creating havoc in the region, are neutralized peace will prevail in the region. Imagine how different the world would be today if Hitler was apprehended or neutralized before he put his killing machine into action.

  5. We have no friends ….we should be calling general mobilization and threatening to hit the Baku pipelines that go to the European Union ! Time to stop playing like losers and grow some ballz!

  6. I had forewarned my Armenian friends of the impending danger Azerbaijan and Turkey posed to their country months ago and here we are. Neither Aliyev nor Erdogan are interested in peace; they are trying to force Armenia into capitulating Syunik region so that Azerbaijan proper can be linked with Nakhchivan, which will enable them to establish yet another pipeline and feed the energy-starved Europe.

    It’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t type of situation for Armenia. Armenia must either show teeth or risk losing more territories. Latter is unacceptable, but the former is just as risky.

    With the Bear engaged in self-mutilation in Ukraine, I doubt they will be of much help to Armenians, not that they were much more than a spectator in the 2020 War. Europe will also ignore Armenia’s plight, due to the ongoing situation in Ukraine. Besides, another energy source from the Caspian and Caucuses helps them mitigate their energy crisis, so they will turn a blind eye to Azerbaijan’s aggression. The immediate losers in this, besides Armenia itself, will be Iran and Georgia. Armenia should seek to pull these countries into its camp and counter-balance the Turkic alliance.

    I’m a Turkish-American and my words may not carry much weight here, but I know Turkic peoples and how they think. They will not stop at Syunik. It’s time for a general mobilization. Defend your homes, your lands, your values. The only thing Turks understand is brute strength, so show some teeth!

    • I know Turkic people, in this case the Turks and pseudo-Turkish Azerbaijanis (former homeless Caucasian Muslim Tatars), very well myself. It is true that they only understand brute strength but far more than that they are opportunists and I am an expert in reading their minds. They will use brute force when they know for a fact they can overpower you but if they can’t they will become your closest friend to win your loyalty and then they will stab you in the back when you least expect it. They also love to talk tough to a force much weaker than themselves and in a vile threatening fashion so as to intimidate them with their false “bravery” but if they are faced with much bigger force and realize they have no chance against it they will fold like a lawn chair. As an example of this, we saw how the Turkish terrorist leadership was threatening Armenia on Azerbaijan’s behalf a few years ago but when Turkish top terrorist Er-dog-an was about to face Russia’s wrath, in Syria or when Turkey downed Russian military jet with orders from her NATO masters for example, the same Er-dog-an went to Moscow, threw down his prayer rug, kneeled down and asked for forgiveness!

    • wow. you definitely work for Turkish side. provoking a wounded surrendered nation to go full scale suicide attack because “turks only understand brute strength”

      armenian army is annihilated and what you want is to make sure all armenian man is annihilated too ?

      why ? why would anyone wants that ?

  7. That depends. How much energy they really have. Then there is that tiny 80% inflation rate in turkey. Something for you to consider.

  8. US Elections are coming up. NOW is the time to be active and call your current congress rep and ask them to support Armenia and condemn Azerbaijan’s and Turkey’s criminal act, OR THEY DON’T GET YOUR VOTE.

  9. This Azeri assault came within days after a Russian setback in Ukraine. It was therefore a western-backed Turkish/Azeri provocation against Russia. This assault was also warning to Nikol. Baku wants Nikol to deliver what he promised: border demarcation, final settlement of NKR, and providing Baku and Ankara access through Syunik. These are things Nikol wants to do but he also understands that as soon as he does them, he will be ousted from power by the very people that put him in power. Nikol also understands that once stripped of political authority, he and his team will be either killed or imprisoned. He is therefore procrastinating. By appealing to Russia for help, instead of mobilizing Armenia’s armed forces which are intact and fully capable of military operations, he is also trying to make Russia look bad because he knows Russia will not start a war against Azerbaijan. All in all, the last 4 years have been a disaster for Armenia, and it has all been the complements of that wonderful thing called “westernization” and “democracy”. Congratulations to all those who supported Nikol’s western and Turkish financed government back in 2018. Enjoy the toxic fruits of your political illiteracy and cognitive dissonance.

    The ONLY way Armenia will survive in the south Caucasus is if it enters into a union with Russia. All other solutions/remedies are delusional…

    • Russia is selling weapons to Azerbaijan. Russia doesn’t fullfill their contract duty to protect Armenian from the assaults. Also Russia is close friend and partners with Turkey. It is clear that Russia is the problem. And they should unite with Russia to create a union? You must be out of your mind.

    • That security treaty between Armenia and Russia is a total farce. It exists to serve Russia and not Armenia which is the side that needs it the most. The recent events have proven this. At Russia’s request Armenia sent troops, mostly non-combatant teams of mine-sweepers and medics, to Syria under Russian banner some years ago creating more enemies and recently Armenia again sent troops to Kazakhstan to protect the totalitarian Kazakh regime from disgruntled protesters WHILE Armenia’s request for aid from Russia during the 2020 undeclared terroristic war by Turkey and Azerbaijan was rejected and fallen on deaf ears claiming the breach of sovereign Armenian territory by terrorist Azerbaijan, itself a Soviet Russian creation a century ago, as nothing but an internal conflict not worthy of their intervention. They don’t respect Armenia as an independent state and Armenia’s government as legitimate unless the elected officials have their blessings and that’s why we never see any independent foreign policy from Armenia’s leadership. It is pathetic!

  10. this was a failure in diplomacy and military preparation. And its all the fault of the current leadership. Pashinyan wants to blame the past presidents for the current predicament but he is to blame. He had more than two years to prepare and acquire drones and weapons to deter Azeri attacks. He also needed to maintain friendly relations with the Russians to also deter Azeris and turks from attacking – he did neither. He distanced himself from the Russians, did nothing to bolster Armenia’s defenses – instead he cozied up the west and filled his own personal coffers. He’s now worth more than Pres Obama and Clinton combined while Armenians are suffering and dying from Azeri attacks.

  11. The recent border fighting errupted as soon as Russia suffered a setback in Ukraine. Moreover, Nikol’s regime was aware that an attack will take place a week before it happened. Instead of mobilizing Armenia’s armed forces to thwart the attack, he publicly called on Russia to save Armenia. Nikol and his Western and Turkish benefactors understood that Russia is in no shape or mood to start a war with Azerbaijan- especially for a Western and Turkish financed regime in Armenia. Nikol’s appeal to the CSTO was therefore done to make Russia look bad, foment anti-Russian hyteria among the Armenian peasantry and open the door for Pelosi’s visit to Armenia – which is primarily meant to further muddy the waters and drive a wedge between Russia, Iran and Armenia.

    Put aside everything you think you know about the situation in Armenia and watch these two video reports. Nikol’s regime is allowing Western and Turkish interests to draw Armenia into a very dangerous game against Russia and Iran. If this continues, Armenians will face another genocide in the foreseeable future.

    The New Atlas: How the US is using the Azeri-Armenian conflict to “extend” Russia.
    https://youtu.be/s_B7gigTPC8

    Redacted: Kevork Almassian on the latest fighting
    https://youtu.be/ChQC9Lu0gV0

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