AZERBAIJAN said Wednesday it had destroyed missile launchers inside Armenia that were targeting Azeri cities, as fierce fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh risked widening beyond the disputed region. Hundreds have already lost their lives in two weeks of fighting, and continued clashes have rendered almost meaningless a humanitarian ceasefire agreed in Moscow last week.
Clashes over Nagorno-Karabakh — where Armenia-backed separatist fighters are battling Azerbaijani forces — have been largely confined to areas in and around the region since a fresh outbreak of fighting started last month but latest reports are worrying as the two countries are threatening to attack targets elsewhere as well, which could lead to full-fledged multi-front war with disastrous consequences. It is unfortunate that the Russian-brokered ceasefire is not holding with two sides accusing each other of violating the accord. Azerbaijan has accused Armenian forces of “grossly violating the humanitarian truce” which was agreed on Saturday to allow the sides to swap prisoners and bodies of those killed. Continuation of the hostilities is a stark reminder that the war could widen and even there are risks of sucking of other countries into the conflict. The world community including the United Nations recognizes territorial rights of Azerbaijan and the issue can be resolved with sincere and fair mediation but unfortunately influential countries are not taking due interest because of their own vested interests. This is despite the fact that the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev has categorically stated that his country wants peaceful settlement of the problem through diplomatic means.