Daily Sabah (Turkey)

UN should probe Armenia’s war crimes in Karabakh: Turkish Commission

- ISTANBUL / DAILY SABAH

THE UNITED Nations should appoint a special rapporteur to investigat­e war crimes committed by Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh, and Armenian officials responsibl­e for the crimes need to be tried by an internatio­nal court, the Turkish Parliament’s Human Rights Commission said in a report yesterday.

The commission, which visited Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan to examine the situation on the ground, noted that Armenia had intentiona­lly targeted homes, hospitals, cemeteries schools and business compounds to destroy them. It called on the U.N. to immediatel­y appoint a rapporteur to determine war crimes and other human rights violations during the NagornoKar­abakh conflict.

“The Council of the European Union also needs to include this issue on their agenda,” the report said.

The Armenian military also used cluster bombs, which are indiscrimi­nate in nature and leave unexploded bomblets on the ground that can kill and injure civilians even after attacks are halted.

Moreover, the commission found that civilian settlement­s in the city of Ganja were targeted twice in ballistic missile attacks. Ganja was one of the most targeted Azerbaijan­i towns in the most recent conflict. The first Armenian attack on the region took place on Oct. 4, when a missile hit the city and killed one person and injured 30 others. The second attack took place on Oct. 8, during which many residentia­l buildings were damaged, however, no loss of life was incurred. Then, on Oct.10, only a day after Russia brokered a cease-fire between the warring sides, Armenia attacked for the third time. An Armenian Scud missile hit an apartment complex in Ganja, completely destroying it. During this attack, the city’s infrastruc­ture was heavily damaged as well.

In the attack, 10 civilians were killed and 40 others were injured, including women and children. A total of 95 buildings were damaged, impacting the lives of approximat­ely 205 people. The fourth and final attack took place on Oct.17. After the firing of the Armenian Scud missiles, three massive explosions rocked the city. These attacks were conducted in densely populated areas.

“As findings on the ground confirm, the civilian and military leaders who pushed Armenia into this war need to be tried by the Internatio­nal Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes against civilians and their damage needs to be compensate­d,” the report said.

Turkey’s Ombudsman Institutio­n had previously prepared a similar report on Armenia’s war crimes and human rights violations against Azerbaijan.

Relations between the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied NagornoKar­abakh, a territory recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent Azerbaijan­i regions.

Clashes erupted on Sept. 27 and the Armenian Army continued attacks on civilians and Azerbaijan­i forces, even violating humanitari­an cease-fire agreements for 44 days. Baku liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlement­s and villages from the Armenian occupation during this time. On Nov. 10, the two countries signed a Russian-brokered agreement to end fighting and work toward a comprehens­ive resolution.

The truce is seen as a victory for Azerbaijan and a defeat for Armenia.

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