President Ilham Aliyev has said that Armenian armed forces have been targeting Azerbaijan civilians far from the conflict zone amid the ongoing clashes, saying that this reflects helplessness of the Armenian army.
The president made the remarks in an interview with CNN-Türk television.
Aliyev reminded that Armenia has fired missile attacks on Azerbaijan’s Ganja and Mingachevir cities that are far from the conflict zone and is bombarding cities located near the front zone every day.
“In my opinion, this is a sign of helplessness of the Armenian army and the crimes of the military-political leadership of Armenia because violence against civilians, the shelling of settlements and the destruction of peaceful cities with ballistic missiles is considered a war crime. This indicates that Armenia cannot resist us on the battlefield. Losing the battle and in an effort to stop us, and in order to harm the civilian population as much as possible, it resorts to such heinous acts.”
The president said that from one to two thousand shells are dropped every day on the city of Tartar that is nearest to the line of contact.
“This once again demonstrates the fascist essence of Armenia, the fascist essence of its regime. But this does not frighten the Azerbaijani people and has no impact whatsoever. Our citizens living in these regions, in these cities and villages stand firmly. They say: long live the Motherland, may our lands be liberated from occupation as soon as possible. They will remain in these places to the end and will provide our army with moral support.”
The president said that the shelling of Azerbaijani civilians will not change Baku’s position and the country will continue to liberate its territories from occupation.
“All of their war crimes are already being recorded. Unfortunately, the international community did not react to the war crimes that were committed against Azerbaijan and our people earlier. The Khojaly massacre is an act of genocide that took place in front of the whole world. However, the then military-political leadership of Armenia was not held accountable for this. The destruction of our cities and villages, the appearance of more than a million internally displaced persons – the international community did not take any action in this regard. Therefore, this issue has not been resolved for many years because no distinction is made between the occupier and the victim of the occupation. And the shelling of our cities and villages by the Armenian armed forces with ballistic missiles today is a war crime. The leadership of Armenia, of course, must and will bear responsibility for this.”
Furthermore, the president stressed that Azerbaijan is not fighting against the Armenian people.
“We have no problems with the Armenian people. Thousands of Armenians live in Azerbaijan, and they are our citizens. The Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh today are also our citizens. All our goals are military. We have every right to destroy military targets because they have caused great damage to our army and cities. Therefore, our duty is to destroy them and ensure the safety of our population.”