Azerbaijan targets Armenia as Karabakh fighting widens

Missile launchers destroyed, Armenia warns it will retaliate.

Azerbaijan said on Wednesday it had destroyed missile launchers inside Armenia that were targetting its cities, as fierce fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh risked widening beyond the disputed region.

Hundreds have already lost their lives in two weeks of fighting, and continued clashes have rendered almost meaningless a humanitarian ceasefire agreed in Moscow last week. Armenia confirmed that military positions inside the country had been hit but denied its forces had been firing into Azerbaijan. It warned that it too could start targeting military sites inside its adversary’s territory.

Clashes over Nagorno-Karabakh — where Armenia-backed separatist fighters are battling Azerbaijani forces — have been largely confined to areas in and around the region since a fresh outbreak of fighting started last month. Direct confrontations between Armenia and Azerbaijan risk spiralling into an all-out, multi-front war with devastating consequences for both sides.

Moscow has so far refused to become drawn into the conflict — even though Armenia is part of a regional Russia-led security group — noting that the organisation’s treaty does not apply to Karabakh.

Azerbaijan’s Defence Ministry said in statements Wednesday that it had destroyed ballistic missile launchers deployed in Armenia in two separate attacks overnight. Launchers at the first site were aiming at the Azerbaijani cities of Ganja, Mingachevir and other populated areas, it said.

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