Armenia and Azerbaijan: President of Azerbaijan pledges to continue fighting in...

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The Armenian Ministry of Defense has released photos of an SU-25 that it claims was shot down by a Turkish warplane

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The Armenian Ministry of Defense has released photos of an SU-25 that it claims was shot down by a Turkish warplane

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev pledged to continue fighting until “the Armenian forces leave” the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, with heavy fighting continuing in the region between the two countries for the fourth consecutive day.

“We have only one condition (to stop the fighting): the Armenian armed forces leave our lands completely and unconditionally,” Aliyev said.

More than 100 deaths have been reported in the fiercest fighting in years around the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

The territory is part of Azerbaijan, but is ruled by Armenians.

The two former Soviet republics fought a war from 1988 to 1994 over control of the region.

Although Armenia supports the self-proclaimed republic in the region, it has not officially recognized it.

It was not clear why the recent renewed fighting, the fiercest since the 1994 ceasefire, is clear. There are fears of international powers being drawn into the conflict.

On Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke of Turkey’s intervention in the conflict, and said he was “very concerned about the war messages” from Turkey, Azerbaijan’s staunch ally and which it supports militarily.

Turkey says it is “fully prepared” to help Azerbaijan regain the territory.

Meanwhile, the Armenian Ministry of Defense has published a photo of the wreckage of an Armenian SU-25 plane that it said was shot down by a Turkish F-16 on Tuesday. Turkey rejected the allegations, describing them as “cheap propaganda,” and Azerbaijan says Armenia is lying about the issue.

However, there are assurances of Turkey’s military intervention in the conflict, and BBC Arabic met with one of the Syrian fighters who participated in the fighting alongside Azerbaijan, and said that he was recruited in northern Syria last week and sent via Turkey to fight the Armenians.

Elnur Cevik, an advisor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, rejected the report, describing it as “totally unfounded.”

What is happening on Earth?

The fighting, which began on Sunday, resulted in the deaths of dozens of soldiers and some civilians.

The two sides exchanged accusations about the bombing across the so-called Line of Control that separates the forces in Nagorno-Karabakh.

On Wednesday, Azerbaijan released footage of what it said had destroyed two “enemy” tanks, and said that an Armenian battalion had fled the area around Tonashin.

Azerbaijani tanks are still being attacked on 30 September

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Armenian reports stated that three civilians were killed in an Azerbaijani air attack on the town of Martakert in the region. The official Armenian news agency, “Armenpress”, said that seven civilians and 80 service members had been killed since the fighting began.

On Wednesday, the Azerbaijani Prosecutor announced that 14 civilians were killed and 46 others were injured.

There are concerns about the development and expansion of the conflict and the increase in the number of victims. The Syrian mercenary whom the BBC met and used the pseudonym “Abdullah”, had revealed that he had been recruited in northern Syria “to guard military points” on the borders of Azerbaijan in exchange for 2,000 dollars a month.

He said that they took him with other Syrian militants from northern Syria to Turkey and then directly from Istanbul to Azerbaijan.

He added that they had not received any military training, but had arrived in Nagorno Karabakh “wearing Azerbaijani military uniform” when the fighting broke out.

Abdullah recounted what he saw there, and said, “The car stopped and we were surprised when we found ourselves on the front line.” After that the bombing started and people started crying in fear and wanting to return to their homelands. “

The advisor to President Erdogan, Elinur Serevik, described this report as “a kind of disinformation campaign.”

“We are not recruiting anyone. Where is the evidence that we are recruiting these people and that the Syrian opposition is sending them to Azerbaijan? This is completely wrong,” he said.

But the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights revealed that Turkey had transferred 320 Syrian mercenaries to Azerbaijan through Turkish security companies. But they added that fighters of Armenian origin in Syria had also been transferred to Armenia to join the fight.

What is the international situation?

French President Macron warned Turkey on Wednesday of “war messages” emanating from it.

Macron said during his visit to the Republic of Latvia that France is “very concerned” about the “reckless and dangerous” statements made by Turkey as the clashes continue for the fourth day over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Turkey supports Azerbaijan and considers it its ally, and it closed its borders with Armenia in 1993 in solidarity with it in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Meanwhile, Macron seemed to be promising to provide more support to Armenia in the coming days: “I say to Armenia and the Armenians, France will play its role.”

There are hundreds of thousands of French citizens of Armenian origin in France. France also chairs the Minsk Group, a subsidiary of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which was established in 1992 to seek to resolve the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

French President Emmanuel Macron

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Macron made the comments during a trip to the Baltic states

In recent weeks, there has been a conflict of interests between France and Turkey, two members of NATO, due to Turkey’s demands for rights in energy areas in the eastern Mediterranean. They were also at loggerheads over the struggle for power in Libya.

Turkey said it would do “whatever is necessary” to support Azerbaijan. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused French President Macron of being in fact “supporting the occupation.”

But there was international concern that Turkey might support a larger military operation. Çavuşolu had already said that Turkey would support Azerbaijan “in the field and at the negotiating table,” and an assistant to the Turkish president spoke of Turkey’s commitment “to help Azerbaijan recover its occupied lands.”

Macron said he would speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin later on Wednesday about the conflict.

Russia is militarily allied with Armenia, and it has a military base in the country. However, it is also close to Azerbaijan, has called for an immediate ceasefire and has offered to mediate the conflict.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Wednesday that he had not yet discussed the possibility of Russia interfering in the conflict given their alliance. He told reporters that “the Armenian Armed Forces are able to defend the country’s security.”

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