There is an air of war in Nagorno-Karabakh

There is an air of war in Nagorno-Karabakh

The region, independent since 1991, is disputed by Armenia and Arzebaijan. In the last few hours, conflicts have reignited after a ceasefire that had lasted since 2016. Martial law has already been introduced in Nagorno-Karabakh and the army is preparing for war

(photo: Aziz Karimov / Getty Images) In the Nagorno-Karabakh region, an area south of the Caucasus disputed between Azerbaijan and Armenia, armed clashes between the armies of the two countries have been taking place for some hours. From the first reports, the death toll is 16 soldiers and some civilians killed, belonging to both sides. The two states accuse each other: according to the Armenian government, the first offensive would have started from Azerbaijan, which would have started bombing the area, and in defense the Armenian army would have responded by sending two helicopters, three drones and three tanks. Instead, the news coming from the Azerbaijani executive speaks of an Armenian attack. Meanwhile, the state of Nagorno, which supports the Armenians, has announced the introduction of martial law and has recalled the military on leave in case of war in the army.

Armenia declared martial law and a total military mobilization following clashes with neighboring Azerbaijan over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, reigniting international concern about instability in the South Caucasus

- Reuters (@Reuters) September 27, 2020

The international community has called for a ceasefire. France, Italy and the European Union have expressed their concern about the situation and Iran - which borders both Azerbaijan and Armenia - has offered itself as mediator. But the main interests are at stake between Turkey and Russia: the former, traditionally hostile to Armenia, has declared that it will support the Azerbaijani army with every possible means; the second, historically close to the Armenians, asked for a return to a peaceful situation.

The independence of Nagorno-Karabakh

The region is located within Azerbaijani territory, but is mainly inhabited by Armenians. It proclaimed itself independent after the collapse of the Soviet Union by holding a referendum in 1991: won by the independence faction, the vote was boycotted by the original citizens of Azerbaijan and its result never had any international recognition. The area has therefore been disputed for almost 30 years by the two states: between 1992 and 1994 there was a war involving thousands of dead and millions of refugees and after the signing of a truce that was almost never respected given the numerous attacks that there have been over the years. The most violent were concentrated in 2016.

All #Armenians must unite to defend our history, our homeland, identity, our future and our present. And we will win and there is only one prerogative, that we promise ourselves that we won't retreat a single millimeter from defending our people and our #Artsakh.

- Nikol Pashinyan (@NikolPashinyan) September 27, 2020

The recent clashes, however, risk leading to a new conflict. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in a message to the population explained that according to him the Azerbaijani government has declared war on Armenia and that an adequate response will be prepared. For Azerbaijan, however, Armenia would have violated the ceasefire that existed between the two states after 2016, and then accused it of having derailed the ongoing negotiations for a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno independence issue. Karabakh.

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