Azerbaijan & Armenia carry on fighting into second day over contested Nagorno-Karabakh region, heavy weaponry deployed overnight
Azerbaijan's president has declared partial military mobilisation, with the Azerbaijani city of Terter under fire from Armenian forces since Monday morning.
Azerbaijan has issued a final warning to Armenia, declaring partial military mobilisation, as the death toll continued to rise in the second day of fighting between the neighbouring countries in the disputed region of occupied Karabakh.
The clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the heaviest since 2016, have reignited concern over stability in the South Caucasus region, a corridor for pipelines carrying oil and gas to world markets.
Karabakh is inside Azerbaijan but occupied by Armenians.
Azerbaijan's president declared partial military mobilisation on Monday.
Azerbaijan's Defence Ministry said the Azerbaijani city of Terter had been under fire from Armenian forces since early morning as both sides deployed heavy artillery.
“The Ministry of Defence gives the last warning to Armenia that adequate retaliatory measures will be taken against them if needed,” it said before the president's announcement.
The ministry also shared aerial footage of the destruction of Armenian tanks and armoured vehicles during the clashes.
Death toll rises to at least 40
Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry said one more Azerbaijani civilian had been killed as Armenians reported 15 more of its fighters were killed on Monday, bringing the total death toll to 40.
Ex-Soviet Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked since the early 1990s in a territorial dispute over the Karabakh region, with deadly fighting flaring up earlier this year and in 2016.
After the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, Armenian separatists seized Karabakh, an internationally recognised territory of Azerbaijan, in a move supported by Yerevan.
The defence ministry in Karabakh announced a total military death toll of 32 on Monday, saying 100 had been wounded in the fierce fighting. Eight civilian fatalities have been reported, including six Azerbaijanis and one woman and a child on the Armenian side.
Border clashes broke out early Sunday after Armenian forces targeted Azerbaijani civilian settlements and military positions in the region, which is also known as Upper Karabakh.
International calls for calm
World leaders have urged a halt to the fighting between Azerbaijan and the Armenia after clashes erupted Sunday raising the spectre of an all-out conflict that could draw in regional powers Russia and Turkey.
Four UN Security Council and two UN General Assembly resolutions, as well as many international organisations, demand the withdrawal of the occupying forces.
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.
A ceasefire, however, was agreed upon in 1994.
Turkey, France, Russia and NATO, among others, have urged an immediate halt to clashes in the occupied region.
"The biggest obstacle to peace and stability in the Caucasus is the hostile stance of Armenia," Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Sunday. "Armenia must turn back from this hostility that will send the region into the fire," Akar said, adding that Ankara would support Baku with "all its resources."
President Donald Trump said Sunday that the US is looking into what can be done to stop the violence at the occupied Karabakh region.
Trump told reporters at a White House press conference that the US has “a lot of good relationships in that area. We will see if we can stop it.”
Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden also called for urgent de-escalation, restoration of ceasefire and resumption of negotiations between the two nations Sunday.