Four Azerbaijani soldiers were killed while Azerbaijani and Armenian troops clashed on their border in a further escalation of their territorial dispute that has lasted for decades.
Three of the soldiers were killed on Sunday and on a Monday in artillery fire that broke out on Sunday near the Tavush region, Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense said Monday.
The clashes also injured two Armenian soldiers and five Azerbaijani soldiers.
The Armenian Defense Ministry said that Azerbaijan resumed bombing on Monday morning after a night of fighting.
Countries have exchanged charges over the camp that sparked the fighting.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said at a cabinet meeting that “Azerbaijani provocations will not go unanswered”.
Armenian Defense Minister David Tonoyan warned that Yerevan “would react to Azerbaijani actions, including taking advantageous positions” on their territory.
He said that the Armenian forces “do not bomb civilian targets in Azerbaijan and only target the technical infrastructure and technical installations of the Azerbaijani armed forces”.
Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan discussed the crisis over the phone with the head of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (OTSC), a military bloc led by Russia.
Referring to the military alliance, the office of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on Sunday that “the military adventure” of Armenia was aimed at drawing the CSTO into the fighting.
The Turkish Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement, supporting Azerbaijan.
“Turkey will continue, to the best of its ability, to support Azerbaijan in its fight to protect its territorial integrity,” said the ministry.
A total war between the two countries could lead to regional powers, in particular the military ally of Armenia, Russia, and Turkey, patron saint of Azerbaijan, who compete for geopolitical influence in the strategic region.
The former Soviet republics, Armenia and Azerbaijan, have been locked in a latent conflict for about 30 years over Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway territory that was at the center of a bloody war in the 1990s.
The continuing clashes are far from Karabakh and occur directly between the two Caucasian states, which rarely happens.