By | Rachel Brooks
October 18, 2020
Once more Armenian forces have violated a short-lived ceasefire mitigated by Russia in the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The German-language newspaper Welt reported that this happened a few minutes after 0:00 hours, 12:00 am local time on Sunday morning, October 18. The ceasefire was violated at approximately the same time that it was meant to go into effect, mere hours after Armenian SCUD missile fire had decimated a neighborhood in residential Ganja.
The Hill reported today that Armenia opened fire on the Aghdam region as of midnight on Sunday.In the mindset of Armenian nationalist movements, the attacks would be at an ideal time for maximum insult on top of injury. October 18 is the Azerbaijani Independence Day, as Azerbaijan was given back its self-governance at the end of the Soviet Union. They fired upon the Aghdam region, which is the general locale of the infamous Khojaly Massacre that occurred on February 26 1992. Khojaly was a nearby district of Aghdam, and the victims of the assault there tried to flee to Aghdam. Armenian propaganda outlets are frequent deniers of this event.
Azerbaijan officials stated that Armenia had fired upon Jabrail, Azerbaijan and its surrounding villages, using both mortars and artillery. This had occurred duly after the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had spoken to his counterparts in both Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The Hill reported that, as of early counts on October 18, 750 people have been killed as a result of the conflict which broke out on September 27.
As of 15:00 hours, or 3:00pm local time on Sunday, Azerbaijan restated its commitment to the ceasefire and opened the door to humanitarian processes. The Azerbaijani ministry stated that they accepted the terms of “goodwill” and “humanism” and agreed to terms of ceasefire, but then reserved the right to take countermeasures if they were once again attacked.
However, the Ministry of Defense of Armenia is not content with the terms of the ceasefire. From the MoD’s official Twitter account, they boasted of destroying Azerbaijani military equipment, though this had not been confirmed, and they used words such as “annihilation” to stress the point. This post appeared within the last hour, after Armenia had also mentioned a commitment to ceasefire. However, Armenia’s rhetoric toward establishing a ceasefire used words such as “impose” and “necessary measures” implying that they would only settle for a mitigated ceasefire once Armenia forced its regime’s will upon the foreign territory. Armenia continues to make such statements despite the fact that the subordinate settlement established in Nagorno-Karabakh is not recognized by Armenia as an independent ethnic republic of its nationals. It is effectively an illegal colony with the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.
Civilians of the Nagorno-Karabakh region have taken to living in basements in constant preparation for ceasefire violations. Meanwhile. Ganja continues to sift through the rubble of the onslaught before. Over all looms the threat of future strikes. The official search and rescue was called off at 19:00, or 7:00 pm local time, citing AzerNews. By October 18, 53 people and 13 bodies had been recovered from the rubble. It is firmly believed that no one, living or dead, is left under the rubble, and so the search was discontinued.
As the Armenian forces continue their onslaught, the Azerbaijani defense forces report destroying equipment that would promote the capacity with which the onslaught could continue. Trend News reports that Azerbaijan has destroyed an Armenian UAV. They have also raised the Azerbaijani flag once more over Khudaferin Bridge. This happened at just before 5:00pm local time.
Yet, even though Azerbaijani forces carry the upperhand in the conflict, this has not completely stalled the press of the Armenian march into the region. Armenian forces fired two missiles at a school in Tartar, at just before 2:30pm local time, citing Trend News correspondent. This came after repeat shellings of graveyards and funeral services over the course of the past week. It is unclear if any of the school’s staff, faculty, or students were anywhere near the premises at the time. The shells hit Asad Mammadov school #1. Photographic evidence reveals windows blasted out, glass sprayed across the floor, dry wall knocked from the walls, pieces of plastic wall knocked off the walls, and so on. In addition to posing risk to the civilians and patrons of such public structures, the damages to schools and cemeteries violate basic human rights. Ceasefire terms are unlikely to solidify as such incidents reoccur.