Russian peacekeepers evacuate Nagorno-Karabakh civilians at an undisclosed location, on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Russian Defense Ministry EPA-EFE
Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Azerbaijan and Armenia reached a cease-fire on Wednesday after Baku launched a so-called "anti-terrorism" campaign that targeted Armenian positions in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Azerbaijan's Ministry of Defense said the Armenian side agreed to leave combat positions and military posts and "disarm completely."
"Units of the Armenian armed forces [will] leave the territories of Azerbaijan. Illegal Armenian armed groups, [will be] dissolved," the ministry said.
The cease-fire was set to take effect at 1 p.m. local time with officials expected to meet in Yevlakh, Azerbaijan for negotiations.
"In some parts, the enemy succeeded in penetrating into defense army outposts, capturing several heights and strategic road junctions," the Armenian government said in a statement. "In the current situation, the international community's actions in the direction of ending the war and resolving the situation are insufficient.
"Taking this into consideration, the authorities of the Republic of Artsakh accept the proposal of the Russian peacekeeping contingent's command regarding a cease-fire."
Azerbaijan had been demanding that the Nagorno-Karabakh region be "reintegrated" into Azerbaijan and for the area to disarm. Azerbaijan and Armenia are former republics of the old Soviet Union.
Russia's Defense Ministry said Wednesday the deal was reached through mediation of Russian peacekeepers and would be "implemented in coordination with the command for the Russian peacekeeping contingent," the state-run TASS news agency reported.
The ethnic Armenian-controlled Nagorno-Karabakh government said the Azerbaijan attack had caused casualties and taken over some strategic locations, despite its efforts to keep them in Armenia's hands.
Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry on Tuesday said in a statement that the goal of its so-called anti-terrorism measures is to "suppress large-scale provocations" in the region. It said it would evacuate local Armenians.