Military authorities in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) have dismissed claims by Baku that they target civilian areas inside Azerbaijan, showing aerial images of Azerbaijani military facilities situated close to populated areas.
In a statement released on Thursday the NKR Ministry of Defense said that in accordance with principles of international law (Article 52 of the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts) military facilities are considered “legitimate targets”.
The images made from unmanned aerial vehicles and published on the Ministry’s website show, in particular, two military facilities of Azerbaijan situated within tens or a hundred meters from the populated areas of Zangishal and Chemenli.
“The armed forces of Azerbaijan, in violation of the norm of the Customary International Law reflected in Article 58 of the above-mentioned Protocol, did not refrain from deploying military facilities in the populated areas or in the vicinity of them,” the Karabakh military charged.
The statement came in response to accusations by Azerbaijan that Nagorno-Karabakh’s armed forces having been delivering strikes against villages and towns situated off the line of contact in Azerbaijani-controlled territory.
Nagorno-Karabakh has also accused Azerbaijan of targeting civilians in its towns and villages situated not far from the frontlines, including Martakert and Mataghis.
The NKR Ministry of Defense said Azerbaijani forces continued to violate the ceasefire arrangement along the entire line of contact overnight using firearms of different calibers, as well as mortars and grenade-launchers.
“The Defense Army’s advanced units are in control of the situation and continue to confidently carry out their combat tasks,” it said.