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Gathering Of The Clouds!

Ensuing clashes around the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the occupation of disputed Nagorno-Karabakh Region may well turn to a full-scale War! Armenia has threatened to use nuclear weapons, if necessary. The soldiers from Pakistan have reportedly arrived in the Caucasus Region to fight for Azerbaijan, an Islamic Republic. In existing condition, India has expressed serious concern over the deteriorating situation, urging the two former Soviet Republics to resolve the issue through peaceful negotiations. Anurag Srivastava, the Spokesperson of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, has said: “We reiterate the need for the sides to cease hostilities immediately, keep restraint and take all possible steps to maintain peace at the border. India believes that any lasting resolution of the conflict can only be achieved peacefully through diplomatic negotiations.

On September 27, Azerbaijan conducted a military operation to seize a territory in Nagorno-Karabakh Region controlled by Armenia, prompting the Artsakh Defence Army – the militia force of the majority Armenians – to resist them. Then, the Armenian Army, too, got involved in the conflict. So far, both the sides lost several tanks, helicopters and drones. The conflict has also claimed the lives of quite a few soldiers, as well as civilians from Azerbaijan and Armenia. On the fifth day of the conflict, Armenia threatened to use Russian long-range nuclear missiles, if necessary!

Other countries have also got involved in the ongoing conflict between the two former Soviet Republics. While Turkey and Pakistan openly back the Islamic Republic of Azerbaijan; the US, France, Russia and some Western nations offer help to the Christian-dominated Armenia. It is to be noted that both Russia and Armenia follow Orthodox Christianity. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has requested Russia and NATO not to provide Armenia with military support. Speaking at an event in Ankara earlier this week, President Erdoğan said: “This time, Armenia has encountered an unexpected end. The brotherly state of Azerbaijan has started a great operation both to defend its own territories and to liberate the occupied Karabakh. Turkey stands with and will continue to stand with friendly and brotherly Azerbaijan with all our means and all our heart.

The dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan over 4,400sqkm Nagorno-Karabakh Region had begun way back in 1988. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the two newly independent countries engaged in a military conflict. Most of the 1.5 million inhabitants of the region, which became a part of Azerbaijan during the Soviet Era, are the Armenian Christians. Since the 1994 border clashes, the Region and several of its adjacent areas have been under the direct or indirect control of Armenia. The Army of Azerbaijan had carried out an operation in the Region in 2016, but failed to occupy the area.

President Aliyev

In early September, Ilham Heydar oğlu Aliyev – the President of Azerbaijan – announced that the area would be liberated soon. On the night of September 27, the Azerbaijani Army and Air Force conducted raids in several cities, including Stepanakert, the Capital and main economic hub of Nagorno-Karabakh. The Armenia-backed Artsakh Defence Army has admitted that the Azerbaijani Forces managed to occupy some parts of Nagorno-Karabakh Region. On the basis of a telephonic conversation, the Armenian media have reported that the Pakistani Army is taking the side of Azerbaijan. In the audio clippings, two persons from Azerbaijan were heard talking about the presence of the Pakistani soldiers in the occupied region. It is to be noted that the Pakistani Forces had taken part in the Arab-Israel War in the 1970’s, and fought for the Arab League.

The Armenian Army has heavily criticised Turkey for sending F-16 fighter jets to help Azerbaijan occupy the Region. In a statement, the Army said that a Turkish F-16 fighter jet destroyed an Armenian fighter aircraft. According to the statement, some Syrian soldiers, too, are taking part in the war on behalf of Azerbaijan. On the other hand, the Russian Army is helping its Armenian counterpart to tackle the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan! Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron have called for an immediate ceasefire. In Moscow, President Putin discussed the current situation in Nagorno-Karabakh Region with the top Russian military officials and security experts. UN Secretary-General António Guterres, too, has requested both Armenia and Azerbaijan to restore peace in the region…

Caucasus

Armenia and Azerbaijan held several meetings over the past five years to resolve the border issue. Although peace had returned temporarily to the region, the two sides failed to find any permanent solution. In its 2020 World Military Strength Rankings, the Global Firepower stated that Azerbaijan ranked 74th out of 138 countries in the world in terms of military strength, while Armenia occupied the 111th position! Azerbaijan has a total of 126,000 soldiers and another 300,000 in the Reserve Force. On the other hand, the number of Armenian soldiers is 45,000. Armenia also has 200,000 soldiers in reserve. Meanwhile, the Artsakh Defence Army has just 25,000 soldiers. Hence, it is difficult for Armenia to win the battle against Azerbaijan without Russia’s support…

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