ANCA-WR Condemns Azerbaijan’s Coordinated Assault on Artsakh
The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region unequivocally condemns Azerbaijan’s coordinated assault against the Republic of Artsakh (also known as Nagorno-Karabakh).
Azerbaijan’s instigation of conflict began on the morning of September 27th local time with the shelling of civilian populations throughout Artsakh, including the capital city Stepanakert and the surrounding regions of Askeran, Martuni, and Martakert – where an elderly woman and a child were killed.
The coordinated aerial and missile assault by Azerbaijan comes only months after Azerbaijan initiated an aggressive confrontation against the Republic of Armenia in the Tavush region, again targeting civilian populations and infrastructure, followed by large-scale live-fire military exercises with ally Turkey in Nakhichevan on the border of Armenia.
In the weeks leading up to Azerbaijan’s attack on Artsakh, signs of coordination and escalation were apparent; with evidence of Azerbaijan’s mobilization of reservists, the commandeering of civilian vehicles for military use, weapons transfers, and with Turkey’s contracting and transporting of Syrian mercenaries to Azerbaijan. Reports from the Republic of Artsakh’s government also indicate that Turkish F-16s are operational in Azerbaijan’s assault against Artsakh – a severe escalation of conflict entirely consistent with Turkey’s increasingly expansionist neo-Ottoman foreign policy.
Turkey has played an increasingly active and unprecedented role in supporting the Azerbaijani regime’s aggression, particularly since the latter instigated conflict with the Republic of Armenia in July. The Turkish government then issued several statements indicating that the Turkish government was willing to provide its full backing to the Republic of Azerbaijan. Shortly after Azerbaijan’s most recent assault on Artsakh began, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan indicated his full support for Azerbaijan and called for the overthrow of the Armenian government.
Azerbaijan’s aggression must not be allowed to go unanswered by the international community. For too long, Azerbaijan has been enabled by the silence of international organizations and media that have refrained from identifying Azerbaijan as an aggressor – instead drawing false equivalence between the two countries in calling on “both sides” to cease hostility.
Azerbaijan has been the only party responsible for the instigation and escalation of conflict, and the only party that has refused to adhere to OSCE Minsk Group ceasefire and de-escalation protocols.
While the United States has been calling on sides to “prepare populations for peace”, Azerbaijan has been preparing its population for war – over the last two decades, inculcating a vitriolic hatred of Armenians throughout all levels of society openly incited by the government.
For the Armenian people, Azerbaijan’s attacks on Artsakh is an existential threat. Azerbaijan’s repeatedly throughout the years declared its intent to capture not only Artsakh, but the Republic of Armenia itself – rooted in the ideology of pan-Turkism, the same that informed the Armenian genocide 105 years ago. Turkey and Azerbaijan consider themselves to be “one state, two nations” – and have routinely coordinated to undermine the integrity of the Armenian nation, maintaining illegal unilateral blockades of 80% of Armenia’s borders in an attempt to suffocate the country.
The ANCA-WR strongly condemns the acts of aggression by Azerbaijan and calls on the international community, including the United States, to end its appeasement of Azerbaijan and hold this genocidal dictatorship accountable for its egregious violations of fundamental human rights and its perpetration of war crimes against civilian populations.
In an era where democratic values and fundamental human rights are being steadily eroded by authoritarian forces, we must be prepared to condemn and criticize these acts of aggression. For too long, the international community has enabled Azerbaijan’s aggression through its silence, and refusal to act on the clear warning signs of Azerbaijan’s hostility towards Armenians. Now, as it engages in a full-scale assault on the people of Artsakh – the largest escalation since 2016, which resulted in heavy casualties on both sides – it is more important than ever the international community unequivocally condemn Azerbaijan’s aggression and demand the right to self-determination of the people of Artsakh be fully respected.