Azerbaijan launches large-scale military operation in Nagorno-Karabakh

STEPANAKERT, Nagorno-Karabakh — On Tuesday afternoon, the sounds of artillery, gun fire, drones, and air raid sirens filled the air over Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh as Azerbaijan launched a large-scale military operation against local ethnic Armenian authorities.

After 9 months of blockading the region and starving its population, the Azerbaijan Ministry of Defense stated that it sent SMS messages and distributed leaflets to residents of Nagorno-Karabakh directing them to ‘shelters’ they claimed to have created on the Lachin Corridor, which connects Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia. The statement raised fears that Azerbaijan’s ultimate goal is not only to eliminate Armenian self-rule in the region but to ethnically cleanse it of as many Armenians as possible.