Azerbaijan and Turkey Want War, Not Resolution, in Nagorno-Karabakh
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
When wars occur, restoration of peace and stability depend on equitable compromises and respect for the rule of law.
Neither exists in Nagorno-Karabakh (NK below).
Planned well in advance hostilities by Azerbaijan against Armenia in NK continue despite truce agreed on three times — the latest failed effort over the weekend.
According to Armenian Defense Ministry spokeswoman Shushan Stepanyan on Tuesday:
“At about 10:00-10:15 (09:00-09:15 Moscow time) this morning, the Azerbaijani side violated the ceasefire once again.”
“It used drones (one of them crashed in Armenia’s territory) and artillery to bombard an Armenian border guard garrison near the Iranian border.”
“The Defense Ministry of the Republic of Armenia has registered another violation of truce and bombardment on the state border and warns that it will have to carry out retaliatory strikes against the Azerbaijani forces.”
Armenia’s Information Center said the following:
“Local clashes continue along the line of contact. The Artsakh (NK) Defense Army continues the combat task of maintaining control of the situation.”
Israeli-supplied Azeri combat drones were downed in NK. “The enemy continues to shell residential areas, including the towns of Martuni and Martakert, as well as settlements in the Askeran district.”
On Monday, Armenian President Pashinyan tweeted:
“The efforts of the international community on establishing a ceasefire, this time with the mediation of the United States, have failed.”
“During the constant shelling carried out by Azerbaijan today, civilians were killed and wounded in” NK.
On Monday, Pashinyan said his government seeks conflict resolution through diplomacy and concessions, adding:
“I want everyone to understand clearly that Azerbaijan doesn’t want any compromises to resolve the problem.”
“It wants capitulation of Karabakh. We are ready for mutual concessions, even for such concessions that would be painful for us, but the Armenian people will never be ready to capitulate.”
On Tuesday, NK spokesman Vahram Pogosyan said Azeri shelling and drone strikes continue.
Baku blamed Yerevan for truce violations, claiming it’s adhering to agreed on terms.
In cahoots with Turkish support and heavy weapons, Azeri forces initiated attacks in NK on September 27.
Baku aims to regain control of the majority Armenian populated enclave.
Its military gained control over southern areas.
According to Armenia’s General Prosecutor’s Office over the weekend, Turkish special forces are directly involved in the conflict, aiding Azeri fighters.
Yerevan claims that Turkish F-16s downed an Armenian aircraft and provide air cover for Azeri forces.
Azerbaijan President Aliyev denied the accusation, adding that he’ll use these warplanes to defend the country against “foreign aggression” he’s responsible for launching.
Ankara trained Azerbaijan’s military for combat operations last summer.
Turkey’s military is directly involved in planning and launching war in the enclave, including deployment of jihadists to combat Armenian forces.
Whatever the outcome of ongoing fighting, longstanding differences between both sides most likely will remain unresolved.
Sporadic fighting since dissolution of Soviet Russia three decades ago will like resume at a future time if resolution is reached in the days or weeks ahead.
Azerbaijan President Aliyev seeks exclusive control over NK.
As long as it’s controlled by Armenia, he’s unlikely to halt fighting unless defeated on the battlefield or forced to accept cessation of hostilities by tough world community actions.
A Final Comment
Iran borders Armenia and Azerbaijan.
This week, Iranian Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Abbas Araghchi is visiting Yerevan, Baku and Moscow to discuss efforts by Tehran to resolve weeks of fighting that threaten its own border security.
On Tuesday, Araghchi that security is Iran’s red line, adding:
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has important water and electricity buildings on the Aras border river, and during this trip, the status of this border and the buildings will be studied.”
On Tuesday, Iranian army commander General Abdolrahim Mousavi said air defense systems were strengthened in northwestern parts of the country, adding:
“Respecting the territorial integrity of countries and protecting the official international borders are among our definite principles, and we would not tolerate any change in them…”
Iranian ground forces were deployed to the country’s northwest to protect against spillover of conflict in NK.
On Monday, senior US and Turkish officials discussed ongoing conflict in NK by phone.
According to Turkey’s Hurriyet News, Erdogan spokesman Robert Kalin told US national security advisor Robert O’Brien that conflict resolution depends on complete withdrawal of Armenian forces from the enclave.
That position has been a nonstarter since Soviet Russia’s 1991 dissolution.
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