The Defense Ministry in Baku said the operations were directed against Armenian forces. According to an AFP reporter, explosions were heard in Stepanakert, the capital of the region that has been disputed between the two countries for decades. Armenia had recently expressed concern about the large deployment of Azerbaijani troops on its borders. On the other hand, in Azerbaijan, the Foreign Ministry in Baku again called the concentration of Armenian troops on the border the greatest threat to the stability of the region.
Christian Orthodox Armenia and Muslim Azerbaijan, both ex-Soviet republics, have been enemies for a long time, with Armenia initially having the upper hand after a war in the early 1990s over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which belongs to Azerbaijan but is predominantly inhabited by Armenians. In a second war in 2020, Azerbaijan, which was heavily armed with money from the oil and gas business, won and recaptured parts of Nagorno-Karabakh and its own territory. In shorter military actions thereafter, Baku also occupied around 150 square kilometers of Armenian territory.
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