LONDON, U.Okay. —
The primary ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh lasted a number of hours. The second ceasefire, launched every week later, lasted precisely 4 minutes earlier than rockets and shells have been flying by way of the air.
Each Armenia and Azerbaijan denied capturing first.
Denial stretches credibility on this battle—little and large denials.
Each Armenia and Azerbaijan say they’re not concentrating on civilians, however cities are coming below assault and civilians are dying.
There isn’t any denying that.
Hikmet Hajiyev is a senior coverage adviser for the Azerbaijani authorities within the nation’s capital metropolis Baku. Right here’s what he informed me few days in the past.
“At any second we predict missiles from Armenian aspect to hit Azerbaijan aspect.”
Within the hours that adopted, the nation’s second largest metropolis, exterior the battle zone, was hit by a Scud missile, mentioned Azerbaijan. 13 civilians have been killed.
Armenia denied accountability.
Within the form of language that marks the deep animosity between these two international locations, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev known as it a “battle crime” dedicated by “the fascist management of Armenia.”
As this battle goes, it wasn’t lengthy earlier than Azeri rockets landed on two Armenian cities, inside Nagorno-Karabakh. An outdated man, Yuri Melkonyan, wept as he sat inside his destroyed home.
“My son is within the hospital now,” he informed native journalists, “and the hospital is stuffed with younger folks, 19, 20 yr olds, some with out legs, some with out arms.”
Nagorno-Karabakh is a harsh and rugged outpost within the Caucasus mountains, the place Europe ends and Asia begins. It has at all times had a majority Armenian inhabitants, however with the breakup of the Soviet Union grew to become a part of Azerbaijan.
Let’s say that’s when the trendy bother started.
The final brutal battle led to 1994 with Armenia gaining management of the area. Upwards of 1,000,000 Azeris fled their houses and have by no means stopped dreaming of the day they might return.
Each side foster a violent and fervent declare of possession, and communicate simply of sacrifice.
“Azeris are combating for ethnic cleaning,” Armen Sarkissian, Armenia’s president informed me in a CTV unique. “Armenians are combating to guard their houses, their youngsters, their faith, their tradition.”
That units out a harsh ethical divide between warring nations. In truth, either side have accused one another of committing “ethnic cleaning.”
“Really, they need to simply return our land,” says Hikmet Hajiyev. “Our folks simply need justice and a return to their houses. And so they deserve it.”
Azerbaijan denies beginning this battle, even because it launched a fierce offensive on the finish of September.
It seems to be dominating the battlefield with fearsome long-range weapons and armed drones provided by Israel. Visuals of those air strikes typically find yourself on Twitter.
However most necessary of all, the Azeris have a brand new ally and arms provider—Turkey, meddling in one other battle.
“Nagorno-Karabakh is combating not simply Azerbaijan, however Turkey, a NATO member,” says the incensed Armenian president. And he’s upset with Canada.
“Canada can be a NATO member. Why is Canada not placing stress on Turkey for being concerned in a battle that has nothing to do with Turkey.”
Certainly, Turkey’s involvement is a harmful complication, elevating considerations that Iran and Russia could get entangled and switch this right into a wider regional battle.
“Larger than Syria,” mentioned the Armenian president.
Azerbaijan calls experiences of Turkey affect “exaggeration, disinformation and propaganda.”