Due to flaring tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia on Sunday declared martial law and a general mobilization in the country.
“At the decision of the Government, martial law and general mobilization is being declared in the Republic of Armenia. I call on the personnel attached to the troops to present themselves to their district commissariats,” Nikol Pashinyan said on Twitter.
Pashinyan also convened a meeting of the country’s security council. On Twitter, Shushan Stepanyan, spokesperson for Armenia’s Defense Ministry, also said clashes with Azerbaijan continue in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Stepanyan claimed that Armenian forces had destroyed four Azerbaijani helicopters as well as some 15 unmanned aerial vehicles (including attack drones), 10 tanks, and infantry fighting vehicles.
Urging the people of Karabakh to retreat to shelters, she claimed that Azerbaijan’s military and political leaders bear full responsibility for the situation.
Border clashes broke out on Sunday after Armenian forces targeted Azerbaijani civilian settlements and military positions. The number of casualties is not yet known.
This July, Armenian cease-fire violations martyred 12 Azerbaijani troops and wounded four others.
Relations between the two former Soviet nations have been tense since 1991 when Armenian military seized control of Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.
Four UN Security Council and two UN General Assembly resolutions as well as decisions by many international organizations refer to this fact and demand the withdrawal of Armenia’s occupying forces from Upper Karabakh and seven other occupied regions of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan Urges Armenia To Surrender
Earlier, Azerbaijan urged Armenia to lay down its arms and cease its border violations in Nagorno-Karabakh region. If Armenian forces surrender, the prisoners of war and civilian hostages will be treated in line with the Geneva Convention and other international legal norms, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry pledged in a statement.
The statement added that if Armenian forces continue their resistance, all their armed forces will be neutralized. Armenia has once again proven that it is the biggest obstacle to peace and stability in the region, the statement said, adding that Turkey will steadfastly stand with Azerbaijan.
Baku has the right of self-defence to protect its people and territory, it said. The OSCE Minsk Group – co-chaired by France, Russia and the US – was formed in 1992 to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, but to no avail.