Five years ago, on April 2, 2016, the Azerbaijani authorities, in gross violation of the ceasefire, launched a large-scale military offensive against Artsakh in an attempt to resolve the Karabakh conflict through the use of force.
During the offensive, the Azerbaijani armed forces deliberately targeted civilian settlements and infrastructure. The four-day war against Artsakh was accompanied by brutal killing and torture of Artsakh servicemen and civilians, as well as desecration of the bodies of the victims. The perpetrators of these crimes based on national hatred were later rewarded by the Azerbaijani authorities at the highest level.
“In the years following the April war, inspired by the impunity for war crimes and human rights abuses, the Azerbaijani authorities intensified their belligerent rhetoric and propaganda of hatred against Armenians,” the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
“The result of this policy was the unleashing of a new military aggression by Azerbaijan against Artsakh in 2020 with the direct participation of foreign armed terrorists sponsored by Turkey, which led to many irreversible human and material losses. A large part of the territory of Artsakh came under the military occupation of Azerbaijan, tens of thousands of citizens became refugees,” the statement reads.
“The large-scale hostilities unleashed against Artsakh in April 2016 and September 2020 and the war crimes committed by Azerbaijan showed that Artsakh could not be under the jurisdiction of Azerbaijan in any capacity,” the Ministry stated.
“Only addressing the consequences of the Azerbaijani aggression against Artsakh, the determination of the status of Artsakh can be the basis for lasting peace and stability in the region. Armenia and the Armenian people will make every effort to fully restore all the rights of our compatriots in Artsakh for a free, dignified life in their historical homeland,” the Foreign Ministry concluded.