Armenian premier sees coup attempt as military demands resignation
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan - Nikol Pashinyan, Prime Minister of Armenia, speaks during a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the German Chancellery. Pashinyan warned of a military coup that has been attempted against him on Thursday. - Kay Nietfeld/dpa

In the midst of a domestic political crisis, the military of the South Caucasus republic of Armenia has demanded the resignation of head of government Nikol Pashinyan.

Pashinyan spoke on Facebook On Thursday of an "attempt at a military coup" and immediately announced the dismissal of the head of the armed forces' general staff, Onik Gasparyan.

Pashinyan also called on his supporters to gather in the capital Yerevan on Republic Square.

Earlier, the top brass of the Armenian military had called for the resignation of Pashinyan and his Cabinet.

"The prime minister and the government are no longer able to make reasonable decisions," they said in a statement, according to the Armenian news agency Armenpress.

The military representatives also referred to Pashinyan's recent dismissal of the deputy chief of general staff.

Pashinyan has been under extreme pressure since the end of fighting over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh more than three months ago because the opposition holds him personally responsible for the defeat to Azerbaijan.

Most recently, tens of thousands of people called for his resignation in new protests, which Pashinyan has repeatedly refused to accept.

In the fighting from September 27 to November 9 over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is mostly inhabited by Christian Armenians, Muslim-majority Azerbaijan reclaimed large parts of the territory it lost to Armenia in the early 1990s. In total, more than 4,700 people died.

Azerbaijan looked to Turkey with which it shares religious, historical and cultural links for support in the conflict, while Armenia looked to Russia for similar reasons.

As former Soviet republics, both countries maintain links with Moscow.

According to the Interfax agency, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday that the situation in Armenia was being observed "with concern."