Heavy shelling and armed clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces continued today in the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh border region, despite a joint call from France and Russia for a ceasefire and a de-escalation of the violence. 

According to BBC reports, the French and Russian presidents Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Putin spoke directly on the matter. They agreed to mutually press the Armenian and Azerbaijani governments to enter into an immediate ceasefire and exercise “maximum restraint.” 

Conflicting reports about the situation on the ground are adding to concerns. Azerbaijan released a video showing what they alleged to be the destruction of two “enemy” tanks, while Armenia is claiming the deaths of nearly a hundred service personnel and civilians. The Armenian defense ministry reported on Tuesday that a Turkish F-16 had downed an Armenian SU-25. Turkey dismissed the report as “cheap propaganda.” 

New reports are suggesting that hundreds of Turkish-backed Syrian mercenaries have been brought into the region as well. Early estimates put the number of fighters in the thousands, but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights countered these claims saying that the number is closer to 850.