says news from daily sabah The Turkish News....
Armenia on Sunday began handing over a liberated territory to Azerbaijan as part of a peace accord that ended six weeks of fierce fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Residents of Azerbaijan's Kalbajar district, which was occupied by Armenian forces for decades, began a mass exodus of the mountainous province in the days leading up to the official withdrawal day.
Thick plumes of smoke were seen rising over the valley near the village of Charektar after residents set their homes on fire preferring to leave devastation in their wake and homes that would be uninhabitable by Azerbaijanis. The withdrawal of Armenian forces from Kalbajar was supposed to be completed by Nov. 15. However, due to difficulties posed by the climate and natural conditions, Azerbaijan on Sunday gave an additional 10 days to Armenia to completely withdraw from Kalbajar.
Earlier this week, a Russian peacekeeping contingent was deployed to Nagorno-Karabakh. They set up checkpoints and positions in the region's administrative center, Stepanakert (Khankendi), as part of the terms of the accord that sees Armenia cede swathes of territory that Azerbaijan's forces gained in the fighting.A key part of the peace deal includes Armenia's return of Kalbajar, as well as the Aghdam district by Nov. 20 and the Lachin district by Dec. 1,
Moscow's peacekeeping mission, which the military said included soldiers that previously were stationed in Syria, comprises some 2,000 troops for a renewable five-year mission. The ex-Soviet rivals agreed to end hostilities earlier this week after efforts by Russia, France and the U.S. to secure a cease-fire fell through during the nearly two months of clashes.
which have been held by Armenians since a devastating war in the 1990s.
Armenia conceded on Saturday that 2,317 fighters were killed in clashes in which both sides accused the other of targeting civilian infrastructure. Azerbaijan has not revealed its military casualties and the real toll after weeks of fighting is expected to be much higher.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday said the number of fatalities had surpassed 4,000 and that tens of thousands of people had been forced to flee their homes.
Kalbajar was almost exclusively populated by Azerbaijanis before they were expelled by Armenians in the 1990s war following the breakup of the Soviet Union, and a majority of the homes being abandoned previously belonged to Azerbaijanis. Some 60,000 Azerbaijanis had to leave their homes in 128 villages and took refuge in other parts of Azerbaijan.
The Armenian government controversially subsidized the region's settlement by ethnic Armenians.
Putin told his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, on Saturday to take care of Christian shrines in parts of Nagorno-Karabakh that Azerbaijan gets under this week's cease-fire agreement, the Kremlin said.
Putin told Aliyev there were Christian churches and monasteries in areas of the enclave. "In this respect, he (Putin) underscored the importance of securing safety and normal church life of these shrines," the Kremlin said.
Aliyev said that was how Azerbaijan will act, according to the Kremlin.Plot to kill Pashinian
The peace accord with Azerbaijan has sparked a week of protests in Armenia where demonstrations and opposition parties are calling for Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian to resign.
The former head of Armenia's national security service, Artur Vanetsian, was arrested Saturday on charges of plotting to kill Pashinian and seize power............
well that is what happened there... will the region be peaceful from now onwards ever after? let me cross my fingers