Armenia-Azerbaijan Ceasefire Broken Again After US-Backed Truce
Armenia and Azerbaijan on Monday accused each other of violating a new US-brokered ceasefire in fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The ceasefire violation and shifting of the blame denoted the failure to end a month of clashes between the two countries. World powers want to prevent a wider war that might draw in Turkey, which has voiced support for Azerbaijan, and Russia, which has a defense pact with Armenia. The conflict has also deteriorated relations between Turkey and its NATO allies. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict began in 1988 when the Karabakh Armenians demanded that Karabakh be transferred from Soviet Azerbaijan to Soviet Armenia. The conflict escalated into a full-scale war in the early 1990s. A ceasefire signed in 1994 provided for two decades of relative stability, which significantly deteriorated along with Azerbaijan's increasing frustration with the status quo, at odds with Armenia's efforts to cement it. The four-day escalation in April of 2016 became the deadliest ceasefire violation until the current conflict. The current conflict began on the morning of 27 September along the Nagorno-Karabakh Line of Contact.