Conflict flares between Armenia and Azerbaijan

This item appears on page 4 of the November 2020 issue.

The armed forces of Armenia and Azerbaijan, in the South Caucasus, clashed over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region in late September. The first shots were fired on Sept. 26, with both countries blaming the other for starting hostilities. As of press time, at least 220 people had been killed and many more were wounded, mostly civilians.

The capital of Nagorno, Stepa na kert, was hit by Azeri-fired missiles on Oct. 3, causing multiple civilian casualties. Nagorno authorities began evacuating civilians after the strike. On Oct. 4, Ganja, Azerbaijan’s second-largest city, was shelled by artillery located in Nagorno, with at least one civilian killed. Nagorno militia said they had destroyed Ganja’s military airport, which local authorities denied.

Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. However, the region’s ethnic majority is Armenian, and much of it is controlled by an Armenian separatist group that wants to join Armenia.

From 1988 to 1994, a war between the two future nations, then still part of the Soviet Union, killed an estimated 30,000 people and displaced more than a million. A 1994 cease-fire agreement did not settle ownership of the region. Both sides have stated they will continue the current conflict until the matter is settled.