Armenian forces on Sunday shot down two Azerbaijani military helicopters and three drones in Nagorny Karabakh. (Reuters)
Azerbaijan has started „active bombing” along the Nagorno-Karabakh frontline , including the region’s main city Stepanakert after Armenia attacked civilian settlements and military positions.
According to a statement issued by the Azerbaijan’s Defence Ministry, Armenian army made „extensive provocations” along the front line early in the morning and opened fire with large-scale guns, artillery and mortars on the positions of the Azerbaijani army and civilian settlements.
READ MORE: Death toll ticks up in Azerbaijan, Armenia border clashes
Azerbaijan said the country had taken retaliatory measures to ensure the safety of the civilian population.”
„Our response will be proportionate, and the military-political leadership of Azerbaijan bears full responsibility for the situation,” the Azerbaijan’s ministry said in the statement.
Several military facilities and vehicles along with 12 OSA anti-aircraft missile systems belonging to Armenia were destroyed , according to the statement.
Tensions between the two nations had escalated last month when the Armenian Army violated a ceasefire agreed in 1994, on July 12 and attacked Azerbaijani positions with artillery fire.
France, Russia and the US have mediated peace efforts as the „Minsk Group” but the last big push for a peace deal collapsed in 2010.
Armenia declares martial law
Meanwhile Armenia’s Defence Ministry said its troops downed two Azerbaijani helicopters and three drones in the clashes.
The ministry said the downed helicopter’s crew had survived.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Sunday that his country declared martial law and total military mobilisation following clashes.
READ MORE: Azerbaijan, Armenia see respite in border clashes
Turkey condemns the attack
Turkey’s ruling party spokesman Omer Celik tweeted: “We vehemently condemn Armenia’s attack on Azerbaijan. Armenia has once against committed a provocation, ignoring law.” He promised Turkey would stand by Azerbaijan and said, “Armenia is playing with fire and endangering regional peace.”
Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin also took the Twitter, condemning Armenia. “Armenia has violated the ceasefire by attacking civilian settlements … the international community must immediately say stop to this dangerous provocation.”