Azerbaijan violated ceasefire three times within a week, Armenian Ministry of Defence reports
YEREVAN, Armenia - Less than a week after a ceasefire deal was reached, Azerbaijani forces violated the deal by opening fire on Armenia, the Armenian Ministry of Defence reported.
The first violation was reported on September 20, then again on September 21 and 23.
"Units of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan periodically violated the ceasefire regime on September 20, using small arms in the Eastern direction of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border zone," the Ministry of Defence wrote online.
On September 21 around 8 p.m. local time, Azerbaijani forces opened fire again using mortars and large-caliber firearms. One person on the Armenian side was wounded, officials said.
Then again on September 23, Azerbaijan violated the ceasefire by opening fire at Armenian combat positions in the east.
"They [Azerbaijan] are violating the ceasefire regimes, they cut off gas supply, water supply, electricity, internet periodically. After the 2020 war we faced many such challenges, so security is the basic component of our struggle to defend ourselves," stated David Babayan, the Foreign Minister of Artsakh.
A ceasefire deal was reached Wednesday, September 14 after two days of heavy fighting which killed over 200 soldiers on both sides.
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Babayan recently visited Washington D.C. and spoke to Congressional leaders and community members about the current situation on the border.
Babayan characterized Azerbaijani President Aliyev’s aggression as "an attack on civilization – on international norms and laws."
"If they neglect it or ignore, or they will be indifferent, then these kinds of aggressions will spill over to other countries too, including to the United States. You can see what kind of dramatic changes have taken place in recent years," Babayan added.
The gathering on Capitol Hill comes days after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other US politicians visited Armenia and condemned what she called ‘illegal’ attacks by Azerbaijan on sovereign Armenian territory.
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Congressional leaders promised to support Armenia’s security and democracy.
Arman Tatoyan, the former Human Rights Defender of Armenia, says Azerbaijan is guilty of war crimes.
"Being under attack, ongoing attacks from the side of Azerbaijan, these war crimes are very realistic and we need to use all means to prevent these war crimes," Tatoyan said in an interview with FOX 11.
He said in May 2021, Azerbaijan invaded the territory of Armenia in three locations and occupied territories through war crimes, torture, and cruel means.
Armenian officials say Azerbaijan must be held accountable for their war crimes.
US politicians are urging the Biden Administration to take immediate action. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called on the Biden Administration to "halt all security assistance to Azerbaijan and review all assistance programs to the country."
Rep. Adam Schif (D-CA), who represents Los Angeles' largest Armenian community, called on the US to halt all assistance to Azerbaijan and called the recent attack "an egregious violation of the ceasefire and direct attack on Armenia’s sovereignty."
"These atrocities will continue until the international community condemns Aliyev, unequivocally. The U.S. must lead the way," Schiff wrote in a Twitter post.