BAKU, September 29. /TASS/. The Azeri defense ministry has warned Tuesday that the national armed forces will destroy Armenian S-300 missile systems in case they are deployed in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.
"According to our intelligence, S-300 missile systems that protect Yerevan’s air space have been taken off alert and are heading towards the occupied territories (as Baku refers to unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh - TASS). We declare that they will suffer the same fate as military hardware of the Armenian army destroyed in Nagorno-Karabakh," spokesperson for the defense ministry Vagif Dargahli told reporters.
On September 27, Baku said that Armenia had shelled the Azerbaijani army’s positions and Yerevan, in turn, claimed that Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces had launched an offensive towards Nagorno-Karabakh, shelling regional settlements, including the capital, Stepanakert. Both parties reported casualties, including civilian casualties. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have declared martial law and a troop mobilization. Baku reports that it took a few Nagorno-Karabakh villages and strategic heights under its control. Yerevan says that territories outside of the disputed region are shelled.
The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them. Talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement have been ongoing since 1992 under the OSCE Minsk Group, led by its three co-chairs - Russia, France and the United States.