September 27, 2020 - 16:16 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan and grandmaster Levon Aronian have expressed support for Nagorno-Karabakh people's right to live peacefully in their own land.
Their comments came hours after Azerbaijan launched a large-scale offensive along the Karabakh contact line and has been shelling civilian settlements since early morning. At least two civilians – a woman and a child – have been killed, while two others have been injured.
"We have an unalienable right to live in our homeland without an existential threat. Our children have the right to live in peace rather than hiding in shelters. I always stand by my Nation," Mkhitaryan tweeted.
Aronian, meanwhile, reminisced about how his grandfather told him that his family's ancestry comes from Karabakh.
"I won my first strong tournament in a wonderful city of Stepanakert. We are people who have always defended with pride throughout the history. We will this time too, I know it," Aronian said in a tweet of his own.
Both Armenia and Karabakh have introduced martial law and total mobilization of their male population.
The Nagorno Karabakh Defense Army said on Sunday, September 27 that helicopters, drones, tanks and infantry armored vehicles belonging to the Azerbaijani military have been destroyed since morning.
Armenian Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan has already briefed Andrzej Kasprzyk, the Personal Representative of the Chairperson-in-Office, on the situation along the Karabakh contact line.
Karabakh President’s spokesperson Vahram Poghosyan has said the Azerbaijani military has been shelling the civilian settlements of Karabakh, including the capital Stepanakert.
The last major escalation on the contact line of Nagorno-Karabakh was in April 2016 when Azerbaijan resumed hostilities against Karabakh. Throughout the four-day military campaign, 64 soldiers, 13 volunteers and four civilians, including a child, were killed and more than 120 people were wounded on the Armenian side. According to information from the U.S. Department of State, Azerbaijan lost more than 270 people in total.