Azerbaijan reports losses among its troops after large-scale border clashes with Armenia.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have reported new border clashes that left an unknown number of Azerbaijani troops dead.
The fighting, which broke out early on Tuesday, marks the latest flare-up between the arch enemies, who fought a war in 2020 over the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Each side blamed the other for the fighting.
In a statement, Armenia’s defense ministry said Azerbaijan launched “intensive shelling” against Armenian military positions in the direction of the cities of Goris, Sok, and Jermuk at 00:05am (20:05 GMT) on Tuesday. Azerbaijani troops used drones, as well as “artillery and large-caliber firearms,” it said.
“Armenia’s armed forces have launched a proportionate response,” it added.
But Azerbaijan’s defense ministry accused Armenia of “large-scale subversive acts” near the districts of Dashkesan, Kelbajar and Lachin on the border, adding that its army positions “came under fire, including from trench mortars”.
“There are losses among [Azerbaijani] servicemen,” it said, without giving figures.
The United States said it was deeply concerned about reports of the attacks.
“As we have long made clear, there can be no military solution to the conflict,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday. “We urge an end to any military hostilities immediately.”
There have been frequent reports of fighting along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border since the end of their 2020 war.
Last week, Armenia accused Azerbaijan of killing one of its soldiers in a border attack.
In August, Azerbaijan said it had lost a soldierand the Karabakh army said two of its troops had been killed and more than a dozen wounded.
The neighbors have fought two wars over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, the Armenian-populated enclave in Azerbaijan.
Conflict first broke out in the late 1980s, when both sides were under Soviet rule and Armenian forces captured swathes of territory near Nagorno-Karabakh — long recognized internationally as Azerbaijan’s territory, but with a large Armenian population. About 30,000 people died in the ensuing conflict.
Azerbaijan regained those territories in the 2020 fightingwhich ended with a Russian-brokered truce and thousands of residents returning to homes from which they had fled. More than 6,500 people lost their lives in the six-week war.
The leaders of both countries have since met several times to hammer out a treaty intended to establish a lasting peace.
During EU-mediated talks in Brussels in May and April, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan agreed to “advance discussions” on a future peace treaty.
Pashinyan on Tuesday held separate phone calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron on the latest clashes, according to the Armenian government.
The prime minister condemned the “provocative, aggressive actions” of the Azerbaijani armed forces and called for an “adequate response from the international community”, the Armenian government said.