Updated: Oct 22, 2022
In the first minutes of the 13th of September, the Armenian Ministry of Defense reported that cities Goris, Sotk, and Jermuk were under attack by Azerbaijan’s army. By the end of the day, stations of the Armenian army along the border had also been attacked, as well as some civilian areas. In addition, there are reported victims among military personnel on both sides.
This time, however, the conflict does not involve the previously disputed Nagorno Karabakh area. The 2020 ceasefire agreement, currently broken, granted Azerbaijan parts of these lands and has settled Turkish and Russian military in the remaining part for “peacekeeping.” The experts have been speculating that the goal of the current operation is to connect Azerbaijan to the Azer Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (South of Armenia) and, therefore, access Turkey. As Turkish president, Erdogan keeps his firm (also military) support of Azerbaijan; many claim that these attacks might be the means to rebuild the “Turkic world” and strengthen Erdogan’s imperial ambitions.
On the evening of the following day, thousands of protesters gathered in Yerevan, demanding the resignation of the Armenian president Pashinyan. They feared the president might sign a document accepting a peace treaty with the demands of Azerbaijan; however, after loud criticism, he promised such a document would not be signed.
As of Thursday (15.09), the countries have allegedly signed a ceasefire agreement. Even though Nagorno Karabakh is still disputed territory between the two countries, we must consider a broader historical context of the genocide of approximately 1 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during World War I and the civilian losses during the wars on Nagorno Karabakh, as well as the current Erdogan’s dictatorship in Turkey, which strives to regain the historical power in the region. Such an image shows how Turkey could use Azerbaijan for personal gains and why we should stand with Armenia.
Photo © Mauricio Lima for nytimes.com