In the last hours before the ceasefire began, both sides of the conflict blamed each other for further attacks. “A few minutes ago, Azerbaijan fired rockets again in a residential area in Stepanakert,” said Armenian separatists, who control the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. Stěpanakert is the administrative center of the enclave. The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense said that Armenia was intensively shelling populated areas, to which Azerbaijan responds in the same way.
Armenian officials claim that Turkey has joined the conflict, inter alia by sending Syrian mercenaries fighting on the side of Azerbaijan, or by shooting down an Armenian fighter plane with a Turkish fighter jet. Both Ankara and Baku denied this. In an interview with CNN Arabic on Thursday, Aliyev admitted that there are Turkish fighters in Azerbaijan that remained in the country for several weeks after a joint military exercise. But he insisted that they remain on the ground.
Armed conflict erupted in 1988, and Nagorno-Karabakh, with the support of Armenia, broke away from Azerbaijan in a war that claimed an estimated 30,000 lives and resulted in hundreds of thousands of refugees. The enclave and the adjacent Lachin Corridor, leading to Armenia, are now under the military control of Armenia. Azerbaijan considers this territory to be occupied. The current clash flared up on September 27 and is the most serious in more than 25 years.