Undeniable proof of the Khojaly massacre, in which hundreds of Azerbaijanis were killed by Armenian forces 30 years ago, has been demonstrated to the world and must continue to be shown, Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Turkey said on Thursday.
In an opening speech at a workshop in Ankara on the legal aspect of the “war crimes” committed by Armenian forces in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, Resad Mammadov said, “Armenia is guilty of war crimes” in the town of Khojaly on Feb. 26, 1992.
Describing the events in Khojaly as a “massacre,” he stressed that the entire world remained silent on the issue despite all the facts that have since come to light.
On Feb. 26, 1992, with the Soviet Union just dissolved, Armenian forces took over the town of Khojaly in occupied Karabakh after battering it using heavy artillery and tanks, assisted by infantry.
The massacre is seen as one of the bloodiest atrocities by Armenian forces against Azerbaijani civilians in the Upper Karabakh region, which was liberated by Azerbaijan forces in fall 2020 after decades of occupation.
The two-hour Armenian offensive on Khojaly killed 613 Azerbaijani citizens — including 106 women, 63 children, and 70 elderly people — and seriously injured 487 others, according to Azerbaijani figures.
Relations between the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia have been tense since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, a territory recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
New clashes erupted on Sept. 27, 2020, and ended with a Russian-brokered truce six weeks later.
Baku liberated several strategic cities and nearly 300 of its settlements and villages from Armenian occupation during this time. Before this, about 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory had been under illegal Armenian occupation for nearly three decades.