Ever since Russia’s invasion and conflict with Georgia (the country not the state) in 2008 I have been watching the region of the Caucasus Mountains closely. I feel that if a larger conflict is to bloom then this region has the greatest potential to become the next linch pin for war…..
I know that I link to this article a lot…..but it is one of my better analysis (plus it is a small ego boost to link to it often)…..
This region is volatile and we in the West hear very little about it….a shame because it could be our next “Big One”…..
I bring this up again because there has been yet another incident where one nation in the region is at odds with another…..this tie it is Azerbaijan and Armenia……
Two Azeri servicemen have been killed in border clashes with the Armenian army, Azerbaijan’s defense ministry said on Monday.
The Armenian defense ministry accused the Azeri side of triggering fresh confrontation along the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan and around Nagorno-Karabakh, which lies inside Azerbaijan but is controlled by majority ethnic Armenians.
Clashes between the two ex-Soviet nations and around separatist Nagorno-Karabakh have stoked fears of a wider conflict breaking out in the South Caucasus, which is crossed by oil and gas pipelines.
In an account that was disputed, Azerbaijan said an officer and a soldier were killed on Sunday when Armenian forces tried to cross the state border.
Armenia accused Azeri forces of attacking several villages near the border between the two countries, wounding one civilian at the weekend
Sporadic clashes between the two have thwarted international efforts, led by France, Russia and the United States, to end the dispute, which broke out in the dying years of the Soviet Union and killed about 30,000 people.
Back in December 2015 there was another clash between the two nations…..
Armenia says a ceasefire with neighbouring Azerbaijan over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh no longer exists, describing frequent skirmishes at the front line as “war”.
Artsrun Hovhannisyan, a spokesman of Armenia’s defence ministry, said on Tuesday that Azerbaijan was using “all existing armaments: tanks, howitzers, and anti-aircraft artillery” against Armenian soldiers in the disputed region.
“What we have today is a war,” said Hovhannisyan. “We must use the word ‘war’ as there is no ceasefire anymore.”
Azerbaijan responded with counter-accusations, blaming Armenia for the recent escalation.
There have been a war of words between the two since the collapse of the USSR…..and now it is becoming more harmful than in the past….will this lead to the “Big One” that could involve the rest of the world since we are setting ourselves up to “good guys versus bad guys”, a bi-polar world, yet again.
Heavy fighting has broken out between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces along the front lines of the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region, reportedly killing at least one child in what one official called the worst clashes since 1994. Officials from each former Soviet republic blamed the other Saturday for the fighting that began overnight, the AP reports. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan said they had inflicted heavy losses on the other. David Babayan, a spokesman for Nagorno-Karabakh’s separatist president, said a boy of about 12 was killed and two other children wounded in a Grad missile barrage by Azerbaijani forces. Azerbaijan says 12 of its soldiers were killed and around 100 Armenian forces were killed or wounded.
Vladimir Putin has urged all sides to cease firing and “show restraint,” a Kremlin spokesman says. Nagorno-Karabakh, a region in Azerbaijan, has been under the control of local ethnic Armenian forces and the Armenian military since 1994. The Armenian Defense Ministry says Azerbaijan used aircraft, tanks, and artillery to try to make inroads into Nagorno-Karabkh and that “Azerbaijani authorities bear all responsibility for the unprecedentedly supercharged situation.” The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry says the fighting began when Armenian forces fired mortars and large-caliber artillery shells across the front line.
Could a recent meeting between Kerry and the Azeri president just added fuel to this fire?
The Nagorno-Karabakh situation, whereby a territory that the UN recognizes as part of Azerbaijan is under the control of an unrecognized autonomous government backed by Armenia, has sat unresolved and rarely spoken of for 22 years. The resumption of hostilities this weekend, however, comes just days after Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, calling for an “ultimate resolution” to the conflict.
Kerry made it clear he wanted a diplomatic settlement, but that still doesn’t mean his comments didn’t play a role in precipitating these new hostilities, if it convinced Aliyev that the US isn’t going to allow the status quo to remain in place.
The Nagorno-Karabakh situation is complex, but the US interest seems primarily in resolving it to spite Russia, seeing Russia as using the standoff as leverage to keep itself tied to both nations, particularly Armeni
Finally a report issued by the International Crisis Group can help my reader understand this situation….more so than trying to get reliable information from the MSM…….
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has long been regarded as a tinderbox in the heart of the South Caucasus – with serious implications for the wider region including Russia, Turkey and Iran. Each spring, when low-level violence tends to break out, policymakers worry about incidents spiraling out of control due to miscalculation or escalation by leaders in […]
It appears that my paper about the region is looking more and more accurate….this could well be the next linch pin that plunges the world into darkness….yet again.
Heavy weekend fighting continued into Monday, with reports of at least three more Azeri soldiers killed and Nagorno-Karabakh reporting that they’ve had 20 fighters killed and 72 wounded in the past three days of fighting.
Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan warned a group of foreign ambassadors today that the war could have “unpredictable and irreversible consequences, right up to a full-scale war,” cautioning that both Russia and Turkey could quickly become involved.
Hopefully calmer heads will prevail.