Armenian attack kills 13 civilians in Ganja, Azerbaijan
BAKU- Anadolu Agency
13 civilians were killed, including two children, and more than 40 others injured, after the Armenian army struck Azerbaijan’s second-largest city, Ganja, with missile attacks, the General Prosecutors of Azerbaijan said on Oct. 17.
“Civilians are continued to be saved from the debris of destruction by emergency services,” Hikmet Hajiyev, assistant to the Azerbaijani president, said on Twitter.
"Treacherous and cruel missile attack of Armenia against civilians in Ganja is sign of weakness and desperation of Armenia's political-military leadership in the face of its defeat on battleground," Hajiyev said, adding it is a "deliberate and indiscriminate missile attack against civilians."
“Armenia's foreign ministry in vile manner attempts to deny its state responsibility for this nefarious war crimes,” he said, stressing that Ganja is far from the combat zone.
According to Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA), missiles fired at Ganja were initially identified as SCUD/Elbrus Operative-Tactical Ballistic Missile.
"Fragments from the impact zone prove it. Targeting SCUD missile against densely populated civilians shows complete immorality and schizophrenic mindset of Armenia's pol-mil leaders," Hajiyev said.
“Innocent civilians in the second biggest city of Azerbaijan are under the indiscriminate and targeted missile attack of Armenia,” he said earlier.
“Unscrupulous calls for humanitarian ceasefire should see these war crimes of Armenia,” he said.
More than 20 houses were destroyed, according to preliminary reports, he added.
“New missiles systems have been brought to Armenia. Immediately they started to attack civilians in Azerbaijani cities in treacherous and cruel manner,” Hajiyev said in a separate tweet. It is a “manifestation of Armenia's state policy of terror,” he said.
The Armenian army also launched missile attacks on Mingachevir.
Azerbaijani air defense destroyed Armenian missiles launched at that city, the General Prosecutors of Azerbaijan said in a statement that indicated the hydroelectric power plant in Mingachevir was targeted by the Armenian army at about 1 a.m. (2100GMT).
Turkish officials condemn Armenian attack
Turkey’s ruling party spokesman reiterated support for Azerbaijan and condemned Armenia's attacks.
“Armenia is killing civilians as a rogue state. It is carrying out brutal massacres. The murderers and their supporters are breaking the law. Attacks against Ganja are crimes against humanity,” Ömer Çelik said on Twitter, noting the attacks and massacres will not go unpunished before adding that Armenia must be convicted in the name of humanity and law.
Turkish presidential spokesman said Armenia continues to commit war crimes even under a declared cease-fire.
“As in Khojali, it [Armenia] kills women, children, the elderly and civilians indiscriminately. Armenia will pay for these unlawful acts and murders,” Ibrahim Kalın wrote on Twitter in reference to the Armenian massacre of 600 Azerbaijani civilians in 1992.
“Turkey stands with Azerbaijan to the very end,” he said. It is meaningful that countries and international organizations that have a say on every issue remain silent on occupant Armenia killing civilians,” Kalın added.
“Armenia is once again committing a war crime by attacking civilians in Ganja, and demonstrating that Armenia is a terrorist state,” Turkey’s Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül said on Twitter. “We stay strong next to Azarbaijan. Our brothers will never stand alone.”
“The terrorist and occupying Armenia, which committed war crimes, hit the innocent civilians once again regardless of women, children and the elderly in #Ganja and showed its dirty face once again,” Turkey's Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Twitter.
The leader of Turkey's main opposition strongly condemned the attack on Ganja and Mingachevir.
”I extend my get well soon wishes to the brotherly Azerbaijani people and repeat once again that we stand by them in their rightful cause,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said on Twitter.
Azerbaijan shoots down Armenian fighter jet
Azerbaijan shot down an Armenian fighter jet on Oct. 17 morning, the country's Defense Ministry said.
In a statement, the ministry said the Su-25 aircraft was attempting to launch air strikes on Azerbaijani positions in the Jabrayil region.
The jet was destroyed by Azerbaijani forces at around 11:11 a.m. [0711GMT], the statement said.
Azerbaijani army liberates city of Fuzuli from occupation
Azerbaijan has liberated the city of Fuzuli and seven surrounding villages from Armenian occupation, the country's leader said early on Oct. 17.
"Azerbaijan’s glorious Army has liberated the villages of Gochehmedli, Chimen, Chuvarli, Pirehmedli, Musabeyli, Ishigli, and Dedeli of the Fuzuli district and the city of Fuzuli," President Ilham Aliyev said on Twitter.
“Long live Azerbaijan’s Army! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!” he added, referring to efforts to liberate Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh, from nearly 30 years of Armenian occupation
Separately, in an address to the nation, Aliyev said: "The city of Fuzuli was liberated from the occupiers. Fuzuli is ours! Karabakh is Azerbaijan! I cordially congratulate all the people of Azerbaijan on this occasion.”
Hikmet Hajiyev, an aide to Aliyev, wrote on Twitter that Armenia’s strongest fortified defense line had been shattered.
"The liberation of Fuzuli will go down in the military history books," he said.
Fuzuli and most of its villages were occupied by the Armenian army in 1993.