Armenia’s foreign minister meets the US Secretary of State on Oct. 23. Official photo

Artsakh capital of Stepanakert experienced heaviest shelling in two weeks, with more than 20 explosions heard in the evening of October 23. Civilian areas of Mardakert, Askeran and Martuni were also heavily shelled.

The Armenian defense ministry reported continued offensive operations by Turkish-supported Azerbaijani forces along much of the entire frontline. In the south of Karabakh, the Armenian side reported Grad missile shelling of the Berdzor (Lachin) road connecting Goris and Stepanakert.

Elsewhere, an Israeli-made reconnaissance drone operated by Azerbaijan was brought down over northeastern Armenia.

On the diplomatic front, NKR president Arayik Harutyunyan appealed to the Russian president Vladimir Putin, emphasizing the long-standing ties between Armenians of Artsakh and Russia, and urging Putin to do all he can to put an end to fighting in Karabakh.

In Washington, foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and president’s national security advisor Robert O’Brian. According to the Armenian foreign ministry, in addition to emphasizing a return to cease-fire, the matters of Turkey’s direct involvement in the fighting, through its regular forces as well as hired mercenaries, as well as war crimes committed against the Armenians of Karabakh, were also raised.

Members of U.S. Congress called on the Trump Administration to sanction Azerbaijani and Turkish officials for the war crimes committed, including under the U.S. Global Magnitsky Act.