Politics Regional

Upper Karabakh war conflict: Azerbaijan takes advantage despite “deep concern” of world leaders

Since September 27, Azerbaijan and Armenia have been involved in the warfare in the region of Karabakh, which legally is Azerbaijan’s territory, but dominated by ethnic Armenians since the early 1990s. Azerbaijani forces pushed deep into the mountain enclave saying that hundreds of Armenian militaries were killed during their operation. Karabakh conflict is appeared to be one of the longest and intensive military conflict in the world. There were several escalations of the warfare between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but world community managed to seize them. The current warfare seems to be continued till Azerbaijan regains control over Karabakh region.

After a month of hostilities and two failed ceasefires, Armenia seems to be on the losing side in its decades-old conflict, one of the reasons for that is the full back-up Azerbaijan receives from Turkey – its closest ally, and there is no indication that current Turkish leader R.Erdogan will downsize or even stop that aid. Turkey, Azerbaijan’s staunchest ally, pledged to send troops “if requested” by Baku. Russia, Armenia’s strategic ally and main international backer, has not dispatched a single soldier, although it keeps thousands at a base in the northwestern Armenian city of Gyumri, less than 400km from the front lines. It also has not provided its advanced Krasukha-4 electronic warfare systems stationed at the Gyumri base that can deactivate Turkish and Israeli drones that Azerbaijan used with lethal efficiency. The development of conflict is under great influence of world prominent players.

So, many in Azerbaijan were convinced that a round of peace talks in Washington, DC, on Friday, would bring about a long-awaited solution to the oldest armed conflict in the former Soviet Union. Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and his Armenian counterpart Zohrab Mnatsakanyan held separate meetings with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

After the talks, Pompeo urged both sides to “end the violence and protect civilians”. Still It is quite clear that mentioned demand cannot be completed – almost 30 years of negotiations could not reach peace in the region and now Turkey and Azerbaijan teamed up to regain control over disputed territories of Karabakh.

Significant role of Turkish militaries and diplomats in Karabakh conflict is obvious and Turkey does not hide its involvement in the war actions in Karabakh, stating it is simply “performing ally duty”.

Senior Turkish and US officials on Monday discussed bilateral ties over the phone,and the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan was one of the matter of that talk.

Emphasizing the importance of seeking a diplomatic solution to the dispute between Baku and Yerevan on the region of Upper Karabakh, Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said that cease-fire violations by Armenia and its attacks on civilian populations were the reason cease-fire agreements broke up.

Kalin reiterated Turkey’s position that in order to find a permanent and sustainable solution, Armenia must withdraw completely from the territories occupied in and around Upper Karabakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh, that are internationally recognized as Azerbaijani territory.

He also noted that the international community should take concrete steps to ensure the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan under the decisions of the UN Security Council and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Though Azerbaijan agreed to a fresh humanitarian cease-fire to exchange prisoners and bodies, Armenian forces broke the truce only minutes after it was supposed to take effect, and it seems that any humanitarian cease-fire would have such final in future.

To sum up, it is worth mentioning that having full and indisputable support of Turkey, Azerbaijan will not stop press the advantage it has already taken in Karabakh. The military operation of Azerbaijan would barely stop till the whole region would be controlled by Azerbaijan.

At the same time neither European Union members, nor the US are ready for imposing sanctions against Azerbaijan and Turkey, the prominent players in the region (likewise, Turkey is still NATO member). Therefore, the world community has no options but to wait and see which party wins.

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