Azerbaijan, Armenia trade accusations of war crimes

Azeri and Armenian foreign ministers on Monday accused each other’s countries of having committed war crimes in Nagorno-Karabakh over clashes that broke out in late September, Agence France Presse reported.

During an address to the United Nations Human Rights Council, both ministers repeated their accusations of the other side violating international law in the conflict that left some 6,000 dead in six weeks until Russia brokered a ceasefire on Nov. 10.

Armenian Foreign Minister Ara Aivazyan said Azerbaijan “deliberately and systematically targeted civilian infrastructure” and subjected prisoners of war to “degrading, inhuman and cruel treatment”.

Aivazyan also said Turkey transported to Nagorno-Karabakh foreign fighters, who in turn “committed mass atrocities against Armenians”.

Meanwhile, Azeri Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov said Armenian forces committed “grave violations of international humanitarian law tantamount to war crimes and crimes against humanity” when they “deliberately attacked” populated areas in Azerbaijan.

Turkey threw its full support behind ally Azerbaijan in the conflict, but denies allegations that it sent foreign fighters to aid the Azeri army.

“Members of the military on both sides have behaved horrendously, displaying a complete disregard for the rules of war,” said Amnesty International’s Denis Krivosheev in a December Amnesty statement calling for investigations on war crimes.