Update (2305ET): The overnight outbreak of fighting in multiple spots along the Armenian-Azerbaijan border is serious enough for Yerevan (Capital of Armenia) to have asked for its powerful ally Russia’s help. This has been revealed hours after Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held a late night telephone conversation with President Vladimir Putin. The Armenian government has since confirmed it has requested Russian military assistance to repel Azerbaijan aggression and shelling, according to a statement (machine translation):
“During the meeting, further steps were discussed to counter the aggressive actions of Azerbaijan against the sovereign territory of Armenia that began at midnight. In connection with the aggression against the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia, it was decided to officially appeal to the Russian Federation in order to implement the provisions of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, as well as to the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the UN Security Council.
Armenia is basing the request on the Collective Security Treaty Organization pact it has with Russia, and under which Russia previously sent peacekeeping forces to Nagorno-Karabakh after the Fall 2020 conflict.
Independent geopolitical analyst and Russia watcher Clint Ehrlich concludes of the hugely significant request at a time the Ukraine war is raging: “If Russia accepts, we could see a second NATO-Russia proxy war explode.”
The same day Azerbaijan launched a cross-border attack on Armenia, Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister bragged that AZ gas exports to Europe will increase by 30% this year. pic.twitter.com/KZpXuxzj6d
— Lindsey Snell (@LindseySnell) September 12, 2022
Azerbaijan has reportedly shelled the homes of innocent civilians in Artsakh and is now attacking Armenia’s border.
An egregious violation of the ceasefire and direct attack on Armenia’s sovereignty.
The U.S. must halt all assistance to Azerbaijan – immediately and permanently.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) September 13, 2022
Heavy fighting has broken out between Armenia and Azerbaijan along the border shortly after midnight local time, with the ministry of defenses for both countries citing clashes at several locations. Armenia is saying its territory is coming under attack, and that intensive shelling is currently targeting Goris, Sotk and Jermuk in the east.
Crucially there are reports of exchanges of fire beyond far beyond the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region, but shelling on Armenia proper. “Azerbaijani Armed Forces have launched military offensive against Armenian positions in Armenia proper,” writes one regional correspondent.
Heavy artillery fire being reported from Azerbaijan towards Armenia. pic.twitter.com/q3uNO4mJHi
— Moshe Schwartz (@YWNReporter) September 12, 2022