Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said at least 49 soldiers were killed in nighttime attacks launched by Azerbaijan forces on Tuesday. The two countries have previously engaged in multiple deadly conflicts over the last three decades.

Hours after the attacks, the United States Department of State released a statement emphasising that there is “no military solution” to the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

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“The United States is deeply concerned about reports of attacks along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, including reported strikes against settlements and civilian infrastructure inside Armenia”, the statement from Secretary of State Antony Blinken read. “We urge an end to any military hostilities immediately”, it added.

Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan said in parliament that  Azerbaijani forces attacked about half a dozen points, according to news agency Interfax.

Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry said in a statement that Armenian forces had fired on army positions in three districts of the country and that Armenian saboteurs planted mines in the areas. It said Azerbaijani forces suffered unspecified casualties and that “definitive retaliatory measures were taken.”

Azerbaijan’s ally Turkey also placed the blame for the violence on Armenia. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called for Yerevan to halt its “provocations” and Defense Minister Hulusi Akar condemned “Armenia’s aggressive attitude and provocative actions” following talks with their counterparts in Baku.

Azerbaijan and Armenia have been locked in a decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is part of Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a separatist war there ended in 1994.

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During a six-week war in 2020 that killed more than 6,600 people, Azerbaijan reclaimed large parts of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas that had been controlled for decades by the Armenia-backed separatists.

Moscow said it was “naturally concerned about the situation worsening”, according to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov. “We ask the parties for restraint and most importantly to implement all provisions of the trilateral documents”, he added.