Our first story concerns a conflict involving Armenia and Azerbaijan, two countries located in Southwestern Asia. They both won their independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. But even before that, they were fighting each other over a region that they both believe should be part of their territory.
The region is named Nagorno Karabakh. It's located inside the borders of Azerbaijan, but most of the people who live there are ethnic Armenians.
Nagorno Karabakh declared its independence from Azerbaijan in 1991. Since then, it's ruled itself with the support of Armenia.
But that country and Azerbaijan continued to fight over the region after a ceasefire was declared in 1994. It was a shaky agreement. It didcalm downa lot of the classes, but it did not calm the tension between Armenia and Azerbaijan. They have continued to grapple over the issue of Nagorno Karabakh.
The fighting flared up again between them on September 27th. We don't know who'sat fault. Each sideblames the otherforshooting first, and it was the same thing, over a truce they agreed to over a week ago. Clashes followed and both sides blamed each other.
Over the past few weeks, the region of Nagorno Karabakh says more than 700 members of its military had died in clashes with Azerbaijan.
Here's why all of this is internationally significant. The nation of Russia supports Armenia. The nation of Turkey supports Azerbaijan. So, if the fighting continues, there are concerns it could eventually mean the involvement of two much larger countries.
The United Nations, the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the United States have allcalled forArmenia and Azerbaijan to stop fighting immediately.