Turkey has condemned the deliberate Armenian attacks against the civilian population in Azerbaijan.
At least 21 civilians were killed and another 60 injured on Wednesday in the city of Barda, located in western Azerbaijan and about 30 kilometres from the front, after an Armenian attack with several missiles caused fires in several shops and vehicles, in which it is the deadliest attack on civilians since fighting resumed around the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave a month ago.
On Tuesday, another missile attack on the outskirts of Barda had already killed 4 civilians, including a child, after Armenian forces began shelling this border area of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said today that his country will take revenge on the battlefield for the massacre in Barda, while he announced the liberation from the Armenian occupation of another 13 villages in Karabakh.
According to the Azerbaijani Vice President Hikmet Hajiyev, the Armenian forces would have used in the attack on Barda a multiple missile launcher of Soviet design, the BM-30 “Smerch”, after having previously also attacked the city of Tartar. “They have not learned any lessons from yesterday’s murder of civilians with cluster bombs. Armenia must end its military occupation (in Karabakh) and its war crimes,” he wrote on Twitter.
For its part, the Ministry of Defence of Azerbaijan confirmed the death of numerous civilians as well as significant damage to infrastructure in the attack on Barda. “The Armenian armed forces, in flagrant violation of the humanitarian ceasefire, have fired on the city of Barda from a Smerch multiple missile system,” the ministry reported.
Turkey condemns Armenian attacks on civilian population
As in previous attacks against the civilian population, both the Armenian government and the authorities of the Artsakh Republic – the puppet State of Armenia without international recognition, founded on the occupied territories in Karabakh – have denied any deliberate attack against civilians in Azerbaijan, saying that such claims are “unsubstantiated and false.”
For its part, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned on Wednesday the “flagrant and treacherous” attack on Barda, and denounced that Armenia “continues with its attacks against the civilian population without differentiating between children, young people or the elderly. This vile policy that Armenia carries out to terrorise and massacre civilians is the expression of the sick mentality behind the Khojaly massacre.”
2,000 PKK terrorists fighting for Armenia
Coinciding with the massacre in Barda, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan denounced this Wednesday that according to intelligence reports at least 2,000 members of the terrorist organisation PKK are fighting in the Armenian ranks against Azerbaijan.
“I told Mr. President (Putin) that we have identified through intelligence sources that there are at least 2,000 PKK terrorists fighting for Armenia right now, in exchange for $600 (salary). Mr. President (Putin) said he was not aware of it,” Erdoğan said, referring to a telephone conversation the two had late on Tuesday.
“I have told Putin that if our red lines are crossed, we will not hesitate to take action,” warned Erdoğan, who insisted that Turkey is sincere in its efforts to resolve the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, adding that he had conveyed to the Russian president that this would be possible with the participation not only of Moscow, but also of Ankara.
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He is the “old man” of the team, as we like to call him, although he still has a long way to go. A tireless traveller, he has travelled halfway around the world… and pretends to visit the other half!! A political science graduate, he is particularly passionate about the Middle East, the Caucasus and Greece.