Azerbaijan Announced ‘Counter-Terrorism Operation’ In South Of Nagorno-Karabkah

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Azerbaijan Announced 'Counter-Terrorism Operation' In South Of Nagorno-Karabkah

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On December 13, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry and the State Security Service (SSS) declared that Azerbaijani forces have carried out a “forced anti-terrorist operation” in the vicinity of the town of Hadrut in the south of Nagorno-Karabakh.

“After the signing of a joint ceasefire statement on November 10, Armenian armed units remained in the forests north-west of the town of Hadrut. The Armenian side appealed to the command of the Russian peacekeeping contingent to assist in the withdrawal of these units,” the statement claimed.

However, Azerbaijani claimed, Armenian units “did not leave the territory, but, on the contrary, set up combat positions and carried out several acts of sabotage against the Azerbaijani military and civilians, as a result of which four soldiers were killed and two were wounded, as well as one civilian was wounded.”

Azerbaijan called on Armenia to ensure the implementation of the points of the joint ceasefire statement in Karabakh.

“The Republic of Azerbaijan is committed to the implementation of the points reflected in the joint statement of the leaders of the three countries, and continues to closely cooperate with the peacekeeping forces of the Russian Federation to ensure peace in the region,” the statement said.

Contrary to the Azerbaijani version of events, Armenian sources insist that Baku forces deployed reinforcements and attacked positions of Armenian local militia in the countryside of Hadrut.

For example, on December 12, Azerbaijani troops entered the village Khtsaberd and attacked the village of Khin Taher, which were in the hands of Armenian militia units. On December 13, Armenia claimed that Azerbaijan attacked the villages of Hin Shen and Mets Shen. All these villages are located in the de-facto encirclement by Azerbaijani troops and Armenian units located there are ‘volunteer battalions’ and ‘local militias’ that have refused to withdraw from the encirclement following the November 10 agreement. Their shady status became the source of the current tensions in the region.

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