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Azerbaijani 2S7 Pion 203mm heavy artillery piece firing on Armenian targets (Photo Credit: Azerbaijan Ministry of Defence)

The Armenian Defense Ministry reported that the Azerbaijani Armed Forces launched an offensive in the south and in the north of the Nagorno-Karabakh.

“There are fierce battles in the northern and southern areas of Artsakh (unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic – TASS). The enemy, having concentrated large forces in these areas, set out on an offensive,” Shushan Stepanyan, press secretary of the Armenian Defense Ministry wrote on her Facebook page. According to her, “the Armenian units are holding the enemy’s advance.”

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 over 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.