The Azerbaijani army has launched an attack on the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region along the entire line of contact on Saturday morning, the Armenian Ministry of Defense reports.
Azerbaijani forces have been hit in several directions, causing heavy damage to them, ministry spokesman Shushan Stepanyan said on Facebook, saying the fighting was continuing.
The press service of the Armenian Ministry of Defense reports that two Azerbaijani army helicopters and three unmanned aerial vehicles have been shot down.
Armenia also reports three fired Azerbaijani tanks.
The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense has confirmed the shooting down of one helicopter, claiming that its crew was alive.
Baku claims that the Armenians were the first to launch the attack and that the civilian casualties were caused by the fighting.
A statement from the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense said the Azerbaijani army had given back to the attack and controlled the situation.
The army leadership has decided to launch a “counterattack” along the entire front.
The Azerbaijani side reports that it has destroyed 12 Armenian anti-aircraft missile complexes “Osa”.
There have been hostile relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia since the 1990s, when the war over the Nagorno-Karabakh region was fought.
Nagorno-Karabakh, which was part of the Azerbaijani SSR during the Soviet era, has been a “de facto” independent Armenian republic since the early 1990s. Although Azerbaijan has never controlled Nagorno-Karabakh since the collapse of the USSR, it considers the Armenian region to be its territory. Nagorno-Karabakh is also considered by the international community to be part of Azerbaijan, and no country has recognized the region as an independent state.
Nagorno-Karabakh first declared its independence in 1991. Its secession from Azerbaijan contributed to the outbreak of war between Azerbaijan and Armenia. About 35,000 people lost their lives in the war, and more than a million people in both countries were forced to flee their homes.