Nagorno-Karabakh Ceasefire in Tatters With Heavy Overnight Shelling

Brief ceasefire spent by both sides in accusing violations

It took a great deal of effort for Russia to bring both sides together for a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh. Pulling them apart was much simpler, and by Sunday the ceasefire was in total tatters, with heavy overnight shelling in civilian populated areas.

It was hardly a shock that this happened, as both sides spent virtually the whole ceasefire claiming violations, and Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Bayramov said Saturday he believed it would last just long enough to trade war dead.

It’s not clear that much was even finished by the time the ceasefire had collapsed, with Azerbaijan the first to confirm airstrikes being ordered against ethnic Armenian forces. Armenian forces were accused of shelling Ganja, a city in Azerbaijan, hitting an apartment building.

Armenia initially denied the Ganja attack, but this has been common throughout the conflict, with both sides pounding not only civilian targets, but civilian targets that weren’t even in the warzone in the first place.

Fighting over the last two weeks has killed hundreds, and comments from both sides point to neither side being tired of the conflict yet or looking for a way out. The long-term dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan is far from resolved, and with Turkey continuing to threaten to get involved, what is already an ugly fight could quickly become a very bloody regional war.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.