However brilliant, Azerbaijan's victory in the diplomatic field could not sober up Armenian leadership.
Armenia engaged in a military provocation once again, this time on the state border with Azerbaijan. Their artillery shelled on 12 July 2020 Tovuz District, killing several Azerbaijani soldiers and a 76-year old civilian and seriously damaging civil infrastructure facilities. Their intention was to escalate tensions and drag other countries into the conflict. Azerbaijan's retaliation was swift; Armenia suffered a military defeat, effectively recognized by seeking military support with the Collective Security Treaty Organization.
That, however, did not teach them a lesson. Using various warfare (including heavy artillery), Armenian forces shelled settlements and military positions of Azerbaijan on 27 September 2020. Azerbaijani government had no other option but to answer the opponent in kind; the enemy assault was stopped and it was dealt a number of devastating blows, having to accept the defeat.
From the first days of war, Azerbaijan faced a slander campaign that threw dirt at the nation's sacred liberation cause. Both Armenia's and other countries' media were regularly posting fake news along the lines of "Turkish military and foreign mercenaries fighting for Azerbaijan".
These false accusations were also repeated by senior politicians in some other countries as well, although not justified with a single fact.
On the other hand, nobody ever denounced Armenia, which committed crimes against humanity in the days of war by subjecting peaceful towns and villages of Azerbaijan to heavy rocket shelling. Affected were not only those close to the frontline, but also those far away from it. Armenia intentionally struck non-combatants and civilian structures in Azerbaijani towns of Ganja, Barda, Terter, Naftalan, Mingachevir, and Aghjabadi.
Not unlike military crimes they committed during the first Karabakh war, this was a tactic of deterrence and terror, only this time peaceful Azerbaijani people were wiped out using the warfare and missile launchers of great destructive force, including those prohibited by international conventions.
That the Armenian side had used Scud missiles and Smerch rockets against both combatants and civil population of Azerbaijan was branded
by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty İnternational "cruel and reckless". It is also noteworthy that Amnesty International has registered ballistic missle strikes on civilian population in Ganja and the use of cluster munitions against Barda District.
Ganja, Azerbaijan's second-most populous city with half a million people, sustained several Scud ballistic missile strikes on 4, 11, and 17 October 2020, killing 32 civilians and injuring 143. The Smerch rocket barrage on 28 October 2020 killed 21 civilians and wounded 70 in the town of Barda, located outside the conflict zone. The shelling of Terter, Aghjabadi, and Goranboy district centers continued throughout the 44-day war, with the Armenian side frequently using the banned and extremely dangerous cluster munitions.