Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh) President Arayik Harutyunyan has declared martial law and launched a mobilization of men aged 18 or over.
The decision came hours after Azerbaijan launched a large-scale offensive along the Karabakh contact line and has been shelling civilian settlements since early morning. At least two civilians – a woman and a child – have been killed, while two others have been injured.
"We have repeatedly said we are not in favor of war, but we are ready for one. No one cherishes peace more than us," Harutyunyan said on Sunday, September 27.
"We did not seek war, this war was imposed on us, and we must defend our homeland and families."
The Nagorno Karabakh Defense Army said on Sunday, September 27 that two helicopters, as many as 14 drones, as well as tanks and armored vehicles belonging to the Azerbaijani military have been destroyed since morning.
Armenian Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan has already briefed Andrzej Kasprzyk, the Personal Representative of the Chairperson-in-Office, on the situation along the Karabakh contact line.
Karabakh President’s spokesperson Vahram Poghosyan has said the Azerbaijani military has been shelling the civilian settlements of Karabakh, including the capital Stepanakert.
The last major escalation on the contact line of Nagorno-Karabakh was in April 2016 when Azerbaijan resumed hostilities against Karabakh. Throughout the four-day military campaign, 64 soldiers, 13 volunteers and four civilians, including a child, were killed and more than 120 people were wounded on the Armenian side. According to information from the U.S. Department of State, Azerbaijan lost more than 270 people in total.