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Azerbaijan: Armenia hit Shusha with 'deadly' missiles

How were such deadly weapons procured by Armenian army, asks President Ilham Aliyev

Jeyhun Aliyev   | 12.04.2021
Azerbaijan: Armenia hit Shusha with 'deadly' missiles

ANKARA

Azerbaijan claimed Monday that the Armenian army used "deadly weapons" to target Shusha, the country's cultural capital.

President Ilham Aliyev was informed about the military equipment seized from the Armenian army during the recent war in Karabakh at a ceremony held to inaugurate the Military Trophy Park in the capital Baku.

"Look, these Iskander-M missiles were fired by Armenians at Shusha. Where do these missiles come from in the Armenian army? This is already visual evidence. It is evidence of Armenia's war crime and we want an answer," Aliyev said, while examining the pieces of the missile displayed in the park spread over 5 hectares (12.3 acres).

The liberation of Shusha -- known as the pearl of Karabakh -- on Nov. 8, 2020 led to the recognition of defeat by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, as well as the cessation of the hostilities between Baku and Yerevan.

"How did this deadly weapon fall into the hands of Armenia? We have not received an answer yet. But we will get it. Let everyone come and see that Armenia was trying to destroy Shusha, our ancient city, with Iskander-M missiles. They used it after we liberated Shusha," he said.

Russian-made Iskander-M road-mobile and surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missile has a range of 400-500 kilometers (250-310 miles).

After touring the park, Aliyev met with servicemen.

Karabakh conflict

In 1991, the Armenian military illegally occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, internationally recognized as Azerbaijani territory, and seven adjacent regions.

When new clashes erupted on Sept. 27, 2020, the Armenian army launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani forces and violated several humanitarian cease-fire agreements.

During a six-week conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages, while at least 2,802 of its soldiers were martyred.

On Nov. 10, 2020, the two countries signed a Russian-brokered agreement to end the fighting and work toward a comprehensive resolution.

On Jan. 11, the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia signed a pact to develop economic ties and infrastructure to benefit the entire region. It included the establishment of a trilateral working group on Karabakh.

The cease-fire is seen as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia, whose armed forces withdrew in line with the agreement.

Prior to this victory, about 20% of Azerbaijan's territory had been under illegal occupation for nearly three decades.

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