Clashes between Muslim-majority Azerbaijan and the Christian-majority country of Armenia are the result of a conflict that has raged since 1918.
The ongoing tension between the Central Asian countries Armenia and Azerbaijan is linked to the Soviet Union and in the past, there have been clashes between the two countries over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict which has resulted in the death of thousands of people.
The Nagorno-Karabakh region was annexed by the Soviet rulers in 1923, but as the Soviet Union split into several parts, a war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the region.
Thirty thousand people were killed during the six-year bloody war between the two countries from 1988 to 1994, which led to the migration of residents of Nagorno-Karabakh.
After the deportation of a large number of Azerbaijanis from Nagorno-Karabakh, the majority remained Armenians, due to which the government was also made up of Armenians who supported Armenia.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, a referendum was held in Nagorno-Karabakh in 1991 in which they voted in favour of secession from Azerbaijan, but it was not recognized by the UN member states and Nagorno-Karabakh is still recognized as part of Azerbaijan.
Six years after the 1988 war, it was finally ended with Russian mediation, but there have been bloody clashes between the two countries since then, and before the recent clashes there was a five-day war in 2006 in which hundreds were killed.
Tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region have been simmering since July 12, 2020. Nagorno-Karabakh is recognized internationally as part of Azerbaijan, but since the end of the war between the two countries in 1994, it has been governed by Armenians.
Fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia once again escalated last Monday, soldiers and civilians reportedly killed in fighting in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. On Monday evening, the Armenian Defense Ministry spokesman said in a statement that Azerbaijan had launched large-scale attacks from the south and northeast of the front line in Karabakh.
The region has already been embroiled in a tug-of-war for decades, and experts say the latest violence has once again sent clouds of war into the region.
Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have declared martial law in their respective countries in view of the latest situation. Azerbaijan issued a presidential decree directing the deployment of troops on Monday, while Armenia issued a similar order on Sunday.
The Nagorno-Karabakh region covers an area of 4,400 square kilometres and is 50 kilometres from the Armenian border. Armenia, with the help of local fighters, invaded and occupied the territory of Azerbaijan from outside the region.
And now Azerbaijan has vowed to continue military action until the Armenian army withdraws from the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that their only condition is that the Armenian Armed Forces leave their territory unconditionally, completely and immediately.
He said that if the Armenian government meets this demand, the war and bloodshed will end, after which there will be peace in the region.