The Nagorno-Karabakh battle threatens fatal growth

MOSCOW – Russia tried to broker a ceasefire to end the enemy’s greatest fury in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region for more than a quarter of a century, finding no fault, new blame for the trade between rival Azerbaijan and Armenia. Attacks.

The failure of the ceasefire that was to begin on Saturday reflects the imaginary conditions of the two South Caucasus countries, which have permanent locations of imaginary efforts. The escalation of the conflict predicts widespread tensions between Russia and Turkey, which could threaten energy exports to the Caspian Sea.

A look at some of the military and geopolitical aspects of the conflict and its possible consequences:

Conflict roots

Nagorno-Karabakh, inhabited mostly by Armenians, was an autonomous region within Azerbaijan during the Soviet era. Historical tensions between Christian Armenians and predominantly Muslim Azerbaijanis, Muslim Azerbaijanis injured by memories of the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks in 1915, erupting in the final years of the Soviet Union.

In 1988, the region sought to join Armenia, which led to the collapse of the USSR in 1991 and a military war. By the time the 1994 ceasefire ended, about 30,000 people had been killed and up to 1 million displaced. Armenian forces not only captured Nagorno-Karabakh, but also captured a significant part of the territory outside the border.

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The size of the American state of Delaware, a forested, mountainous region covering about 1,700 square miles, Nagorno-Karabakh, has since operated on its own, relying on Armenian support.

Failed peace early

Since the Armenian army pushed the Azerbaijani troops into the war, international mediators have demanded a political settlement.

Russia, the United States and France, which co-sponsor the Nagorno-Karabakh peace talks in Europe under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, have made numerous peace initiatives, but Armenia’s stubborn resistance to surrender any land is crucial.

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Meanwhile, Azerbaijan has relied on oil resources to modernize its military and now argues that it has the right to claim its land after nearly three decades of failed international mediation.

Military ambiguity

The separatist forces in the Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenian armies rely heavily on the aging of Soviet-made weapons, while Azerbaijan has completely upgraded its arsenal with sophisticated attack drones and the powerful long-range multiple rocket systems it provides. Neighbor and friend, Turkey.

More than two weeks of fighting have shown that Azerbaijan has clearly advanced the Nagorno-Karabakh army and put them on the defensive. Azerbaijani troops have made significant progress in some areas around Nagorno-Karabakh and have filled its towns with rockets and artillery shells.

Armenian forces have faced Soviet-made Howitzers, ancient BM-21 rocket launchers, and unproven Tochka-U missiles that lack the punch and precision of Azerbaijan’s more sophisticated weapons.

Turkey’s new role

Unlike previous hostilities over Nagorno-Karabakh, NATO-member Turkey, which has close ethnic, cultural and historical ties with Azerbaijan, took a high profile and pledged to help Azerbaijan reclaim its territory. Turkey’s new resolute role reflects President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ambitions to expand the chaos of his nation.

File - On October 11, 2020, file photo, rescuers took an injured man to an ambulance after he was shot by Armenian artillery during a fight in Ganja, Azerbaijan.  (AP Photo / Aziz Karimov, file)

File – 11 On October 20, 2020, file photo, rescuers took an injured man to an ambulance after he was shot by Armenian artillery during a fight in Ganja, Azerbaijan. (AP Photo / Aziz Karimov, file)

Armenian officials say Turkey is directly involved in the conflict and is sending Syrian mercenaries to fight on the side of Azerbaijan. Turkey has refused to deploy troops in the area, but Syrian War Monitor and Syria-based anti-government activists have confirmed that Turkey has sent Syrian anti-Syrian fighters to fight in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenian authorities also charge that Turkey provides intelligence and air cover to Azerbaijan, claiming that a Turkish F-16 fighter jet shot down an Armenian warplane. Turkey and Azerbaijan have denied the allegations, but the Azerbaijani president has admitted that Turkey remained on the F-16 in Azerbaijan for weeks after the joint military exercise. He insisted that they have remained spiritual.

Goals Goals

While Armenia aimed to preserve the status quo in the region since 1994 and needed a tough ceasefire to end the loss and re-enactment of the group, Azerbaijan will clearly fight a long war with the blessings of Turkey, hoping to shed blood and force relief. .

Increasing the fighting is a major challenge for Russia, which has a military base in Armenia but has also sought to maintain good relations with Azerbaijan and avoid a showdown with Turkey. Russia and Turkey have learned to embrace mutual interests in Syria and Libya and have developed strong economic ties, but the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh could now ruin their alliance.

Azerbaijan and Turkey have accepted Russia’s mediation and brutally agreed to a treaty, but have made it clear that a ceasefire will be considered temporary until Armenia agrees to withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.

Looming escalation

Landlocks, separated by three decades of blockades by Turkey and Azerbaijan, lack resources for the conflict in Armenia. But that cannot be expected to result in pressure. Patriotic sentiments run high, and Armenians of all professions and ages have volunteered to go to the front line.

If the Armenian military in Nagorno-Karabakh begins to lose ground, Armenia could wage war by recognizing the independence of the separatist region – something it has not yet done – and has publicly challenged Azerbaijan militarily. So far, Armenian officials have refused to carry out any strikes on Azerbaijan from its territory, a claim made by Azerbaijan.

Armenia has several high-precision Iskander surface-to-surface missile systems supplied by Russia. He has not yet been able to use a powerful weapon, but he may be tempted if the Armenian army faces the prospect of losing Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenian authorities have so far vowed to target Azerbaijan’s infrastructure, including an oil pipeline carrying Caspian crude to Turkey and the western markets, but could have a calculus if the Armenian military lands in Nagorno-Karabakh. If the Armenian army targets a strategic pipeline, Azerbaijan could also move east.

During the escalation of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan in July, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry boasted of its state-of-the-art missile systems capable of striking Armenia’s Metsamor nuclear power plant – an Armenian official at the time. “Genocide.”

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If Azerbaijan openly attacks Armenian territory, Moscow is bound by a military agreement with Yerevan for military intervention to save its ally. Turkey can hardly be expected to remain inactive.