Azerbaijan: Armenia has declared martial law and ordered its military to mobilise after a major flare-up in violence with Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
The fighting on Sunday, however, was reportedly more severe than the typical periodic border skirmishes, and both governments used military language describing the events as war. Before Sunday, the last major escalation was in 2016.
This year, a small flare-up in July went almost ignored. The mediators of a diplomatic settlement process, France, the United States and Russia, are distracted and increasingly at odds over other issues, analysts say. The conflict simmered, all but forgotten, until Sunday.
Armenia accused neighbouring Azerbaijan of attacking civilian settlements in Nagorno-Karabakh – internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but controlled by Armenian forces – including the main city of Stepanakert. Armenia’s defence ministry said its forces downed two Azerbaijani helicopters and three drones in response to an attack it said began at 04:10 GMT.