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Baku declares right to strike enemy military facilities regardless of their location

According to Azerbaijan's top brass, Armenia is advertently inflaming the situation

BAKU, October 27. /TASS/. Azerbaijan has the right to deliver strikes on military facilities that threaten its territorial integrity, regardless of their location, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry and Border Guard Service said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

"Azerbaijan has the right to eliminate any military facilities that threaten its territory, regardless of their location," the statement posted on the website of the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reads.

As the statement runs, "Armenia is purposefully escalating the situation in various directions of the front, especially at the restored sections of the state border."

"The Armenian leadership must come to realize and reconcile itself to the fact that the restored state borders do not constitute a conflict zone but are the state border recognized by the international community as defining the full-fledged sovereign territories of Azerbaijan," the statement says.

Azerbaijan adheres to the new humanitarian ceasefire and "displays restraint towards the enemy’s provocations along the entire frontline and is taking only adequate measures," the statement says.

On the evening of October 25, Azerbaijan and Armenia approved a third humanitarian ceasefire for Nagorno-Karabakh brokered by the US, which was set to enter into force in the morning of October 26. However, both sides have accused each other of violating the agreement.

Earlier Moscow brokered a humanitarian ceasefire that took effect at 12 noon local time on October 10 but was violated. Later, the foreign ministries of Armenia and Azerbaijan announced plans to declare another ceasefire at midnight on October 18, but the hostilities continued and the warring parties kept blaming each other for violating the truce.

Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The area experienced flare-ups of violence in the summer of 2014, in April 2016 and this past July. Azerbaijan and Armenia have imposed martial law and launched mobilization efforts. Both parties to the conflict have reported casualties, among them civilians.

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.