By | Rachel Brooks
October 17, 2020
Images retrieved from social accounts, fair use.
Over the course of the evening, October 16, Armenia resumed launching projectile attacks against the civilians of Ganja, Azerbaijan’s second largest city. Ganja is far outside the conflict zone in Nagorno-Karabakh, and despite its distance from the immediacy of the region, Armenia persists. Anadolu Agency reports that 12 civilians, including infants, were killed in this attack, as of the initial counts. The assistant to the Azerbaijani president stated that 35 civilians were injured in the initial wave of attacks.
The assistant of the Azerbaijani president, Hikmet Hajiyev, has stated that emergency services are continuing to rescue civilians from the rubble. For this reason, the official death and injury counts are yet to be determined.
“Innocent civilians in the second biggest city of Azerbaijan are under the indiscriminate and targeted missile attack of Armenia,” said Hajiyev, via his Twitter.
“Unscrupulous calls for humanitarian ceasefire should see these war crimes of #Armenia. According to initial info more than 20 houses were destroyed.”
In the wake of this destruction, Armenian propaganda outlets have celebrated both the deaths of the civilians and the destruction of their homes. The area that was targeted was a primarily civilian area, citing security analyst Irina Tsukerman’s review of the situation.
Propaganda outlets cheered on the deaths of the Azerbaijani, decorating their discussion chats on the media outlets pages with Armenian flags and smiling emojis.
Footage of the scene, shared by Luke Coffey, shows rockets tearing apart structures as civilians and rescue crews alike gather together on the rubble to count the living from the dead. All watch as fire arcs through the air.
The Azerbaijan National Agency of Mine Action, ANAMA, the missiles fired at Ganja were SCUD/Elbrus Operative Tactical Ballistic missiles. Hajiyev called the use of such missiles against civilians “completely immoral” and “schizophrenic,” as he was quoted by Anadolu Agency.
Follow up updates revealed that photographs were taken of the missile ordinance proving that they were, in fact, SCUD/Elbrus missiles.
Military expert Benjamin Minick explained that this type of missile used in the recent attack was designed to have a range of 600 km and wreak maximum damage. Tsukerman likewise analyzed that the attacks were a retaliation for being driven back from the occupied area. The observable issue now is that Armenia is being supplied with highly advanced missile tech. It is unclear, at this time, who might have supplied Armenia with such tech.
Faytuks News reports that one two-story building was completely leveled in the attack. The building had 20 residents. It is unclear what the status is of these residents after the collapse of the entire structure. A 10-year-old child was reported recovered from the remains of this location, but the child’s status was not known at the time of the report. Faytuks News continues to livestream and record the events in Ganja, as a night of terror progressed into the day. Photographic evidence shows children being carried away from the scene on stretchers, recovered but not conscious, and placed in hospital beds.
Other photographic evidence reveals a glimpse into the injuries sustained by civilians. One of the photos that were retrieved from local’s social media accounts reveals a male patient laid out on a stretcher. He is bleeding from indeterminate wounds of his side and arms. He appears to have likewise sustained burn damage, and was covered in debris.
Also, photos that emerge from the scene shows the moment when rescue and news crews determine human life beneath the rubble. One such photo reveals a face, barely visible for its filthiness, peering up through the folds in the debris.
Despite the facts of this, one man, speaking with Karabakh Daily News, had some positive words from the people of Ganja.
“Nothing will break us. We are not afraid, victory will be ours.”
Armenia’s attacks on civilians have not been limited to Ganja in the recent developments. In the liberated zone, graveyards were desecrated. There were over 200 Azerbaijani graves in the Karabakh region that Armenians mowed over with tractors. This is a recurring practice of the Armenian offensive against Azerbaijan. It has also been observed as of recent developments with missile attacks against graveyards and funeral ceremonies in Tartar.