Prohibited cluster bombs fall on civilians plagued by fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Concerns about the health of ordinary people, who are an involuntary part of the conflict, have expressed Amnesty International. Weekend footage confirms the use of cluster munitions in Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh. The city of Shushi also confirms the uncertain number of civilian casualties.
The Nagorno-Karabakh Ministry of Defense brought more specific figures on the fallen soldiers – another 40 died in the area controlled by Armenian separatists, according to Interfax.
Amnesty International experts traced the sources of weekend footage from populated areas of the capital to the crisis response and concluded that the weapon used is Israeli-made M095 DPICM cluster munitions, apparently fired by Azerbaijani forces. “The use of cluster bombs is prohibited under any circumstances under international humanitarian law, so their use to attack civilian areas is particularly dangerous and will only lead to further deaths and injuries.” said Denis Krivošejev, Head of Amnesty International for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. “Cluster bombs are by their nature lethal weapons and their deployment in residential areas is absolutely appalling and unacceptable. As the fighting escalates, civilians must be protected, not deliberately targeted or recklessly threatened. “
The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia is the most serious in more than 25 years. Russian President Vladimir Putin has also called for its end in a television interview. According to him, he is in constant contact with both the Armenian Prime Minister Nikola Pašinjan and the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.
Continuation of genocide
On Wednesday, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pasinjan likened the action of Turkey and Azerbaijan to a “terrorist attack” and part of the Armenian genocide. “What we are facing is an Azerbaijani-Turkish international terrorist attack,” Pasinjan told Sky News. “In my opinion, there is no doubt that this is a policy of continuing the Armenian genocide and a policy of restoring the Turkish Empire.” During the Armenian genocide between 1915 and 1923, 1.5 million Armenians were killed. Turkey admits that many Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were killed in clashes with Ottoman forces during World War I, but denies that they were a systematic assassination.
According to Pasinjan, Armenians are also ready to make concessions for good peace in the event that Azerbaijan also retreats. “Conflict should be settled on the basis of mutual concessions. Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia are ready for the same concessions that Azerbaijan will be willing to make, “Pasinjan said during an interview with AFP in Yerevan. According to the Armenian Prime Minister, the war was provoked by the “active involvement” of Turkey, which provides “full support” to Azerbaijan in the conflict.
“Without the active involvement of Turkey, this war would not have started. It is true that the Azerbaijani authorities have actively supported warlike rhetoric for the past 15 years, but the decision to start a war was motivated by Turkey’s full support, “he said. However, Pasinjan believes that Russia would help Armenia and fulfill its allied commitments if the situation required it.
According to AFP sources, up to half of Nagorno-Karabakh’s population, 70,000 to 75,000 people, 90% of whom are women and children, have fled their homes because of the fighting. “70,000 to 75,000 people have left their homes, either inland from Arcach (Armenian name of Nagorno-Karabakh) or to other safe places outside the country’s borders,” a source told AFP.
The conflict in this territory also raises concerns about the involvement of other foreign states – Turkey is in solidarity with Azerbaijan, Armenia has a defense agreement with Russia.
Aren’t these cluster munitions the same ones as those Azerbaijan used to attack Karabakh? Identified by Amnesty International as Israeli M095 DPICM cluster munitions?
Please correct me, but how could Armenia have “attacked a pipeline” with cluster bombs that only Azerbaijan has? pic.twitter.com/w0k82osFJ1
– Murad Gazdiev (@MuradGazdiev) October 6, 2020
Iranian President Hasan Ruhani said the fighting could turn into a regional war. He added that Iran would not allow countries to send terrorists to its borders. On the same day, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that radicals were leaving Syria for Nagorno-Karabakh, accused Turkey of fanning tensions and named President Erdogan as the main instigator of the conflict. According to the head of Russia’s civilian intelligence SVR, Nagorno-Karabakh could become a base for terrorists who will infiltrate Russia from there.
The international community does not recognize the Republic of Arcach, home to just over 140,000 ethnic Armenians. Armenia and Azerbaijan have been arguing over the area for decades. The predominantly Armenian population of the area broke away from Azerbaijan at the turn of the 1980s and 1990s in a bloody war that claimed about 30,000 dead and hundreds of thousands of refugees. Currently, Nagorno-Karabakh and the adjacent Lachin Corridor are under military control of Armenia. Azerbaijan considers the territory to be occupied.