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Aftermath of recent shelling during a military conflict over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh in Stepanakert October 4, 2020.  - Sputnik International

Live Updates: Armenia Accuses Azerbaijani Forces of Striking Hospital on Contact Line in Karabakh

Last week, after talks mediated by Moscow, Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, beginning 10 October, in order to exchange prisoners and the bodies of those killed during the conflict. However, both sides have repeatedly accused each other of violating the deal.

The decades-old conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as the Republic of Artsakh escalated on 27 September, with both Baku and Yerevan accusing each other of sparking military hostilities.

The international community, including Russia, France, and the US, have urged the sides to the conflict to return to negotiations. Ankara, on the other hand, has voiced support for Baku, saying that it is ready to assist Azerbaijan "both in talks and in combat".

The Nagorno-Karabakh standoff began in the late 1980s, with the predominantly Armenian-populated region proclaiming independence from Azerbaijan in 1991, citing ethnic discrimination against Armenians. Baku and Yerevan waged a full-scale war for the area between 1992 and 1994, which claimed the lives of an estimated 40,000 troops and civilians from both sides. A ceasefire was signed in 1994, but the conflict remained frozen, and the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic still remains an unrecognised state.

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03:45 GMT 15.10.2020

"We don't need mercenaries, we have an army of more than 100,000 soldiers and what we are doing on the ground clearly shows that our army is capable of liberating these territories on its own", he said.

23:19 GMT 14.10.2020

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Fifty-two Syrian mercenaries were killed recently fighting for Azerbaijan against Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Washington Post reported citing relatives of the deceased.

The mercenaries were recruited by Turkish-backed militants in Syria, the report said on Wednesday.

The family members of two dead Syrian mercenaries told the newspaper the fighters had been promised a monthly salary and flew to Azerbaijan from southern Turkey.

The report said Turkey denies sending Syrian fighters to help Azerbaijan.

23:04 GMT 14.10.2020

YEREVAN (Sputnik) – Turkey has refused to allow a US plane with humanitarian assistance to cross its airspace to reach Armenia, the high commissioner for diaspora affairs at the Office of the Armenian prime minister said.

"As for the moment, 100 tonnes of humanitarian aid is ready to be sent to Armenia, but Turkey banned the use of its airspace even for humanitarian supplies, which causes the delay of the flight", Zareh Sinanyan said on late Wednesday.

He added that 700 tonnes of humanitarian aid had already been delivered to Armenia from abroad since the eruption of violence in Azerbaijan’s breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

18:02 GMT 14.10.2020

Arms sales from Turkey to Azerbaijan increased more than 100 times year-on-year in the third quarter of 2020 and amounted to $113.5 million, according to data from the Turkish Union of Exporters.

The lion’s share of the exports, worth over $76 million, was made in September, when the ongoing deadly Baku-Yerevan clashes over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region have erupted.

Overall, Turkey’s military exports to Azerbaijan in the first nine months of the year amounted to over $123 million, a six-fold rise when compared to the same period of last year.

Azerbaijan is so far the largest importer of Turkish arms this year.

Turkey has been vocal in its support for Azerbaijan amid the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, while Yerevan has accused Ankara of direct involvement in the clashes, something it has denied.

16:58 GMT 14.10.2020

Russian President Vladimir Putin held a phone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the parties spoke in favor of intensifying the political process on Karabakh, the Kremlin said on Wednesday.

The conversation took place at the initiative of the Turkish side, it noted.

"The situation in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was discussed in detail. Both sides reaffirmed the importance of observing the humanitarian truce, an agreement on which was reached in Moscow on October 10. Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke in favor of activating the political process, in particular, based on the developments of the OSCE Minsk Group," the statement says.

Putin expressed serious concern about the participation of militants from the Middle East region in the hostilities in Karabakh.

The leaders also stressed the need for solidarity efforts for the earliest possible end to the bloodshed in Karabakh and the transition to a peaceful settlement of the problem.

"They expressed hope that Turkey, as a member of the OSCE Minsk Group, will make a constructive contribution to the de-escalation of the conflict," the Kremlin said.

15:00 GMT 14.10.2020

The Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) suggested on Wednesday that measures should be taken to ensure safety of civilian planes amid the Karabakh conflict.

"The Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) is expressing deep concern in relation to the safety of aircraft carrying out international flights, their flight crews and passengers, as well as of ground civil objects in connection with the armed conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh with the use of missiles and other kinds of armament." the IAC said.

"In connection with this IAC is proposing to do the following in shortest terms: - to take a set of measures aimed at the unconditional implementation of the norms of international law and the complete prevention of civil aircraft downing by air defense equipment, as well as the destruction of civil objects and aerodromes by missiles and other means of destruction, taking into consideration the tactical and technical characteristics of weapons in the conflict zone," the IAC continued.

14:38 GMT 14.10.2020

The United States calls on Azerbaijan and Armenia to observe ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters on Wednesday.

"As a co-chair of OSCE Minsk Group, the United States remains committed to helping Azerbaijan and Armenia achieving sustainable settlement to their conflict. We call on both countries to implement their agreed upon commitments to a ceasefire and stop targeting civilian areas," Pompeo said during a press briefing.

14:28 GMT 14.10.2020

Turkey's or any other country's interference in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict would fuel the fire of the confrontation and is unacceptable, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Wednesday.

"Foreign interference, Turkey's interference, in particular, fans this escalation and is unacceptable," Le Drian said in the Senate.

The minister remarked that the continuing escalation was leading to new civilian victims.

14:13 GMT 14.10.2020

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan thanked on Wednesday the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chair countries — France, Russia and the United States — for their efforts toward the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis.

He personally thanked French President Emmanuel Macron for "calling things for what they are" from the very onset of the military action and expressed gratitude to President Vladimir Putin for Russia's "high-level" performance of its role as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group and Armenia's ally.

"I would like to express special gratitude to Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom we have kept in an intensive contact. During these days, Russia has managed to perform at a high level its role as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group and Armenia's strategic ally. I am convinced that this role will continue to be implemented unambiguously and explicitly in the best traditions of the friendship between the Armenian and Russian peoples," Pashinyan said in a televised address to the nation.

12:59 GMT 14.10.2020

Spokeswoman for the Armenian Defense Ministry Shushan Stepanyan said Wednesday that the Azeri armed forces targeted a hospital in northwestern Karabakh, where civilians were receiving treatment.

"The enemy continued to breach the humanitarian ceasefire and attacked one of the hospitals located northwest of the contact line, where civilians are receiving treatment, too," the spokeswoman said.

12:00 GMT 14.10.2020

Azerbaijan' armed forces gained control of several more settlements in the Karabakh region, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev said Wednesday.

"The brave Azerbaijani army liberated the villages of Garadagly, Khatunbulag, Garakollu Fisulinsky, Bulutan, Mikjanly, Kemerturk, Teke, Tagaser of the Khojavendi district," the president said on Twitter.

The view shows an unexploded shell stuck in the branches after a recent shelling  in Martakert, a self-proclaimed Republic of the Nagorno-Karabakh - Sputnik International
Lawmakers Urge French Prime Minister to End Arms Export to Parties of Karabakh Conflict
11:56 GMT 14.10.2020

Three explosions were heard on Wednesday in Stepanakert, the capital of the unrecognized Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) despite a ceasefire that was recently agreed to by the conflicting sides, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

The shells fell some 20 miles away from the city and it is still unclear what type of weapons was used or what targets were hit.

Air raid sirens remained switched off and local residents continued to move around the city by car and on foot.

11:52 GMT 14.10.2020
10:57 GMT 14.10.2020

A source in the Syrian opposition denied to Sputnik on Wednesday that Syrian fighters from the conflict-hit breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region had returned, noting that each of them has a six-month contract.

"Ankara has started sending fighters to Azerbaijan in June, and there is no time for the transition yet, as they set to be changed every six months," the source said.

"No Syrian fighter has returned from Nagorno-Karabakh, and Turkey is planning to deliver a new batch of militants," the source added.

10:16 GMT 14.10.2020

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan refuted on Wednesday claims that his country is deploying Syrian militants to the conflict-torn Nagorno-Karabakh.

"They say we have deployed Syrian militants [to Karabakh]. There is no such problem. They have things to do on their own territories, they will not go there," Erdogan told the Turkish parliament.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that hundreds of Turkey-linked Syrian militants are already engaged in the combat operations in Karabakh, while hundreds more will be deployed there soon.

10:16 GMT 14.10.2020

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Wednesday that his government rejects any concessions in the Karabakh crisis settlement under the "territories in exchange for peace" formula and insists on determining the status of the unrecognised Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

According to Pashinyan, Baku demanded five territories around Karabakh, a schedule for transfer of two more areas, and determination of Karabakh as an Azerbaijani entity.

"They demanded these territories in exchange for peace, not the status. Azerbaijan menaced a war. Our government ... has refused to discuss the issue in such a manner, without the determination of Artsakh [Nagorno-Karabakh] status," Pashinyan said.

Azerbaijan refuses to discuss Karabakh status and seeks expelling Armenians from there, the Armenian prime minister noted.

10:08 GMT 14.10.2020
09:59 GMT 14.10.2020

Azerbaijani President President Ilham Aliyev said that Turkey should be at the negotiating table during talks on Karabakh crisis settlement, either de jure or de facto,

"The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's Minsk Group was created in 1992, and we do not know why it was created exactly in this format. The group comprises some countries that do not have access to the region and do not have any influence there. If we want the conflict to be resolved, countries capable of promoting genuine reconciliation should be involved. Of course, we welcome Turkey's participation," Aliyev said in an interview with Turkish broadcaster Haber Turk.

According to the president, Baku understands that the change of the composition of the Minsk Group should envision "some legal procedures."

"We do not want to go into detail. This is why I have said: Turkey should be at the negotiating table, no matter de  jure or de facto," Aliyev said.

Moscow and Ankara are engaged in consultations on the Karabakh conflict, the Azerbaijani leader noted.

09:49 GMT 14.10.2020
09:04 GMT 14.10.2020

Peacekeepers can be only brought to Karabakh with consent of Baku and Yerevan, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said, noting that his country does not rule out such a possibility.

"First of all, I must say that peacekeepers can be only deployed to the region with consent of both sides, I mean Azerbaijan and Armenia. [This applies to] both deployment and the composition. If any side vetoes the move, this will be impossible. Secondly, everyone talking about deploying peacekeepers should understand this is about Azerbaijan's sovereign territories. No country can send peacekeepers to our territories without our consent. This would be a violation of the international law. Peacekeepers deployment is included in the basic principles, but this is the very last provision. We do not rule this out, but this is only at the stage of discussions, since there is no significant progress in crisis settlement," Aliev said in an interview with Turkish broadcaster Haber Turk.

08:35 GMT 14.10.2020
08:30 GMT 14.10.2020
08:24 GMT 14.10.2020
08:10 GMT 14.10.2020

Azerbaijani President Aliyev has stressed he will cut diplomatic relations with any country that recognises the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, claimed by Baku. He also expressed a belief that no country in the world will establish relations with Stepanakert.

07:35 GMT 14.10.2020

"Azerbaijan was not using its military aircraft and didn’t have any Su-25 warplane in the air”, Baku stressed.

06:47 GMT 14.10.2020
06:33 GMT 14.10.2020
06:09 GMT 14.10.2020
05:50 GMT 14.10.2020

"On the night of 14 October, the Armenian Armed Forces attacked the positions of the Azerbaijani Army in some areas of the front and as a result of the measures taken, they were forced to retreat with losses. As a result of the retaliatory measures, the Azerbaijani Army destroyed five T-72 tanks, three BM-21 Grad YARS, one Osa-AKM air defence system, one KS-19 anti-aircraft gun, two D-30 howitzers, and several vehicles", an official statement from Baku says.

05:47 GMT 14.10.2020
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