Civilians bear brunt of Armenia-Azerbaijan fighting as ceasefire threatens to unravel

Video Credit: Newsflare STUDIO
Published on October 10, 2020 - Duration: 01:45s

Civilians bear brunt of Armenia-Azerbaijan fighting as ceasefire threatens to unravel

A temporary ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan begun on Saturday (October 10), with citizens of Nagorno-Karabakh saying they will never leave the disputed territory despite coming under heavy roc

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Civilians bear brunt of Armenia-Azerbaijan fighting as ceasefire threatens to unravel

A temporary ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan begun on Saturday (October 10), with citizens of Nagorno-Karabakh saying they will never leave the disputed territory despite coming under heavy rocket and artillery fire since hostilities recently resumed.

Interviews filmed on Saturday (October 10) with ethnic Armenians in an underground bunker facility in Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh’s main city, reveals their determination to stay put as the temporary ceasefire showed signs of already unravelling.

“We are not ready to leave our land,” one woman says.

“We live for our sons, our soldiers, our men, our children.

That is all.” “I want peace, only peace.

Nothing else,” another woman says.

“I want our children, [our] young men, to be healthy and alive, to be back in their homes, to their mothers.” The video was filmed by local citizen Lika Zakaryan and also shows a destroyed house, a heavily damaged gift shop and a furniture store in ruins.

Since the temporary truce came into force on Saturday, each side has since accused the other of breaking the agreement.

The ceasefire aims to allow for the exchange of prisoners and recovery of bodies.

Azerbaijani and Armenian forces have exchanged heavy rocket and artillery fire ever since the conflict started September 27, with each side accusing the other of targeting civilian areas.

The dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, two former Soviet Republics, stems over control of the mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh.

When hostilities began on September 27, Armenia denied it directed fire “of any kind” toward Azerbaijan; Azerbaijani authorities said they'd taken “retaliatory measures.” Turkey has sent in Syrian religious fighters to support Azerbaijani Muslims, according to Armenia's Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Turkey has disputed these claims publicly.

Populated and controlled by ethnic Armenians, and aided by the Armenian diaspora, Nagorno-Karabakh sits inside Azerbaijani territory and is connected to Armenia proper by a highway.

Nagorno-Karabakh is heavily militarized and its forces have been backed by Armenia, which has a security alliance with Russia.

Azerbaijan, who has close ethnic and religious ties to Turkey, has long claimed it will retake the territory.

A war over the region ensued in 1994 between Azerbaijanis and Armenians, and the current conflict is the most severe it's been since then, despite back-and-forth battles throughout the years.

In 1915, over 1.5 million Armenians died during the Armenian Genocide, killings that were carried out by the Ottoman Empire.

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