Azerbaijan, protests against Armenia

Massive protests in Azerbaijan over Armenian attacks on the border

Protesters broke into the parliament in Baku, asking to be enlisted to defend the border after three days of attacks by Armenia against Azerbaijan.

Thousands of people marched in the early hours of Wednesday in a massive and spontaneous protest through the streets of Baku and tried to enter the parliament of the capital of Azerbaijan, protesting against the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and demanding to be mobilised to fight after the latest attacks of Armenia on the border between the two countries.

The protests began late on Tuesday and were gaining intensity, gathering residents of both Baku and the surrounding areas, who marched through the streets of the city and gathered in the early hours of Wednesday in front of the headquarters of the national parliament, waving Azerbaijani flags and chanting “Karabakh is ours, and it will always be ours,” while demanding that the government enlist them to protect the border.

The tension grew and around 4 a.m. a crowd managed to enter part of the parliament building causing some damage to the entrance of the facilities, so minutes later the riot police intervened to expel the intruders and disperse the demonstration. Several people were arrested for the incidents, while authorities later claimed that there is “no need” for a mobilisation to defend the border.

Last Sunday an attack by the Armenian army against Azerbaijani positions on the north side of the common border between the two countries, in the Azerbaijani district of Tovuz, killed several Azerbaijani soldiers. Armenian forces also launched several artillery attacks against villages in the area, killing one civilian in the village of Aghdam. The Azeri army responded likewise causing numerous casualties among the Armenian army.

Azerbaijan accuses Armenia of crimes against humanity

“Attacking Azeri civilians with heavy weapons is a clear sign of fascism and barbarism. This is part of the occupation policy of Armenia. The Armenian side has previously deliberately killed Azerbaijani civilians, thus committing crimes against humanity,” said the Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement. Turkey has condemned these new attacks and has expressed its full support for Azerbaijan.

According to Baku government sources, only since Sunday at least 11 Azerbaijani soldiers have died as a result of attacks launched by Armenia in this border area, unusually far from the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh that confronted both Caucasian countries in a bloody war in the 90s.

Kerim Veliyev, Azerbaijan’s deputy defense minister, said the Azerbaijani military’s military response has caused nearly a hundred casualties since Sunday in the ranks of the Armenian army, although Baku accuses Armenia of systematically concealing its military losses.

4 UN resolutions have called for the Armenian withdrawal from Karabakh

Nagorno-Karabakh is an Armenian majority territory internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but which, after the country’s independence from the USSR in 1991, became independent from Baku and was taken in a bloody war by Armenia, which made it a puppet state without international recognition.

Four UN Security Council resolutions and two UN General Assembly resolutions have since then called for the “immediate withdrawal” of Armenian forces from both Karabakh and seven other adjacent territories occupied by Armenians but officially part of Azerbaijan.