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In the late 80s and early 90s of the 20th century, Armenia made open territorial claims to the historical lands of Azerbaijan and launched military aggression against our country. At that time, Armenia, taking advantage of the chaos in Azerbaijan, occupied 20% of our lands. The policy of ethnic cleansing pursued by Armenia resulted in that more than 1 million Azerbaijanis were expelled from their native lands.
The nearly 30-year-long negotiation process on eliminating the consequences of military aggression against Azerbaijan and fulfilling UN Security Council Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 has not yielded results due to Armenia's destructive stand.
Since 2019, the provocative statements and steps taken by the Armenian military-political leadership have purposefully completely disrupted the negotiation process. With this, Armenia once again demonstrated that its real goal is to strengthen the current status quo and annex the territories of Azerbaijan.
Aggressive and offensive national security strategy and military doctrine adopted by Armenia, expansion of the policy of illegal settlement in the occupied territories, call for a “new war for new territories”, decision to create “volunteer detachments” consisting of civilians, sabotage on the Armenian-Azerbaijani state border in the direction of Tovuz committed on July 12, 2020, at the same time, increased tension on the line of contact in general, concentration of its troops in the frontline areas, as well as collection of a large number of weapons and ammunition indicated that Armenia was preparing for a large-scale attack.
On September 27, 2020, the armed forces of the Republic of Armenia once again grossly violated the norms of international law, using various types of weapons, including heavy artillery, and fired at the residential areas and military positions of the Republic of Azerbaijan from several directions. As a result of the another military provocation, civilians and soldiers were killed and injured, and the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan started counter-offensive operations in order to prevent and neutralize real and potential military threats against the national security of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
According to the Military Doctrine of the Republic of Azerbaijan, in accordance with international legal norms and principles, the Republic of Azerbaijan reserves the right to use all necessary means, including military force, to restore its territorial integrity due to occupation of a part of the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan by the Republic of Armenia and its refusal to liberate the occupied lands within the political settlement of the problem. As an independent, democratic, legal, secular, unitary state capable of ensuring the national interests of the people and the country, the Republic of Azerbaijan determines and implements the national security policy for the sake of its development.
A meeting of the Security Council was immediately held under the chairmanship of Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and certain tasks were given to provide an adequate response to the aggressor.
Given the occupation by the armed forces of the Republic of Armenia of the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the adjacent regions, as well as the real threat of an armed attack on the Republic of Azerbaijan, by the Presidential Decree dated September 27, 2020, from September 28, 2020 at 12 a.m. martial law was declared throughout the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan in order to bring the country, population and territory, as well as the Armed Forces and other armed formations, to readiness for defense. By the Order dated September 28, 2020, partial mobilization was announced in the Republic of Azerbaijan, decisions were made on preparations for hostilities and their conduct.
As a result of the counter-offensive operations launched by the Armed Forces of the Republic of Azerbaijan, several districts of the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as other strategically important territories, were freed from occupation from the first day. To this end, on September 29, 2020, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan signed the Decree "On the organization of a temporary special administration in the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan liberated from occupation." Based on the decree, temporary commandant’s offices were established in the liberated territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan, in accordance with the administrative territorial division of the Republic of Azerbaijan, which carry out special management for each district. Under the temporary commandant’s offices, operational headquarters including representatives of relevant state bodies (institutions) have been established and their duties have been defined.
As a result of the successful military operations carried out by our brave and victorious Army, which liberated the Motherland from occupation, the armed forces of the Republic of Armenia were defeated and forced to retreat with heavy losses in manpower and equipment. To avenge heavy losses suffered on the battlefield the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia targeted the civil infrastructure facilities in the cities and districts remote from the conflict zone and the frontline zone of Azerbaijan, in particular residential buildings, hospitals, medical centers, school buildings, kindergartens, administrative buildings of state institutions, agricultural fields. The Armenian Armed Forces committed crimes against the peace and humanity, as well as war crimes by firing from various types of weapons, ballistic missiles, as well as prohibited artillery weapons. Civilians were brutally killed. Large-scale damage was caused to the civilian population, state property, including infrastructure facilities, as well as business entities.
Thus, the second largest city of Azerbaijan, the ancient Ganja, which has numerous historical and cultural monuments, the cities of Mingachevir (hydroelectric power station) and Yevlakh (the Baku-Tbilisi-Jeyhan oil pipeline), where strategic facilities are located and through which they pass; as well as Beylagan, Barda, Terter, Gabala, Goranboy, Aghjabadi, Absheron, Khizi and other districts were fired from ballistic missiles and other heavy artillery installations.
On September 27, 2020, at around 6:00 p.m., a family (5 people) was completely destroyed as a result of a shell hitting the house of villager Gurbanov Elbrus Isa, located in Gashalti-Garagoyunlu village, Naftalan city.
As a result of rocket and heavy artillery attacks on Ganja city on October 4, 5, 8, 11 and 17, 26 civilians were killed and 175 civilians were injured, large-scale damage was inflicted on civil infrastructure facilities and vehicles.
As a result of the rocket and heavy artillery attacks of the Armenian armed forces, 29 people were killed, 112 people were injured , and civil infrastructure facilities and vehicles were heavily damaged in Barda region.
In general, as a result of Armenia's military aggression, 93 civilians, including 12 children and 27 women, were killed, 454 civilians were injured, a total of 12,292 residential and non-residential areas, 288 vehicles, and 1,018 farms were damaged.
In the period from September 27 to November 10, 2020, Terter, Aghjabadi and Goranboy districts located outside the battlefield and the conflict zone have been shelled by Armenia for 5 times using prohibited and extremely dangerous phosphorus bombs at different times.
On October 08, 03, 04 and 08 November 2020, the armed forces of Armenia in the occupied territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as the persons heading the military units located on the territory of the Republic of Armenia and the criminal communities created by them, grossly violated the requirements of the 1949 Geneva Convention “On the Protection of Civilian Population” during armed conflicts. Using methods of warfare causing large-scale destruction, they fired artillery shells at settlements located in the territories of the Fizuli and Terter districts, where civilians or persons who did not participate in the battles densely live. Also, in order to cause extensive, long-term and serious damage to the environment and deliberate killing of people in violation of the basic principles of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, forests with valuable and perennial trees, which are considered the natural wealth of the Republic of Azerbaijan, located in the villages of Arayatly, Alkhanly of Fuzuli districts, in Sakhlabad village of Terter district and in Shusha, were fired with at least six 122-mm artillery shells of the D-4 type, each of which contained 3.6 kilograms of the chemical composition P-4 (white phosphorus). By deliberately setting fire to natural resources located in these areas, they caused great damage. An aggressive war was planned and carried out against the Republic of Azerbaijan, and terrorism was also committed.
Our soldiers and officers, who demonstrated heroism in the struggle for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan, our civilians who worked in the rear, and our people as a whole, showed determination and will, unity and solidarity, rallying like a fist, dealt crushing blows to the enemy. Unable to withstand the victorious march of the Azerbaijan Army, the enemy went on provocations and committed war crimes, targeting innocent civilians. As a result of 44 days of hostilities, the victorious Azerbaijani Army liberated from occupation the cities of Jabrayil, Fuzuli, Zangilan and Gubadli, the city of Shusha, which occupies a special place in the history, culture and hearts of the Azerbaijani people and is considered the pearl of Karabakh, the settlements of Minjivan, Aghband, Bartaz of Zangilan district, the settlement of Hadrut and a number of villages in Khojavend district, more than 300 settlements, including Sugovushan village, Terter district, several villages in the Khojaly and Lachin districts, as well as important strategic heights in the directions of Aghdara, Murovdagh and Zangilan.
Brave Azerbaijani soldiers and officers, moving forward step by step, broke through the engineering and fortification systems built by Armenia over the years. Our lands were liberated at the cost of the blood and lives of our soldiers and officers, our martyrs.
Azerbaijan's victories in the military field, especially the liberation of Shusha from occupation on November 8, played a decisive role in the fate of the war, thus Armenia admitted its defeat. According to the Statement signed on November 10, 2020 by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia and the President of the Russian Federation, the war ended with the victory of Azerbaijan. Armenia capitulated and was forced to return Kalbajar, Aghdam and Lachin districts to Azerbaijan.
By the Presidential Decrees dated December 2, 2020, September 27 was declared the Day of Remembrance, and November 8 - Victory Day in the Republic of Azerbaijan.
For almost 30 years, Armenia has mined most of the Azerbaijani lands occupied, even lands that do not have a military purpose. Despite the agreement reached in the Tripartite Statement between the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Armenia and the Russian Federation dated November 10, 2020, Armenia refuses to hand over maps and diagrams of minefields. In doing so, it grossly violates the requirements of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the basic norms and principles of international humanitarian law, including the guarantees set forth in articles 2 and 8 of the European Convention, article 1 of Protocol No. 1 and articles 2 (1) and 3 (2) Protocol No. 4 thereto.
In addition to posing a threat to human life, mined areas also hinder the efficient use of land. Despite the fact that the areas have long been cleared of mines, the number of civilians injured and killed is increasing as a result of regularly occurring mine explosions.
From November 10, 2020 to the present, as a result of mine explosions in the liberated territories, 23 civilians were killed and 36 civilians received injuries of varying severity.