What is happening between Armenia and Azerbaijan

What is happening between Armenia and Azerbaijan

In the early hours of Tuesday 13 September, in the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, the thirty-year hostilities between the two rival countries competing for the region resumed: Armenia and Azerbaijan. The conflict, which began in 1991 and which between various setbacks has continued until today, has resumed after two years of peace.

Both sides have accused the other of having triggered the military confrontation, which it seems to have already caused numerous victims on both sides. Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, claims to have suffered 49 victims, while Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, has not yet provided details, although it confirms the presence of losses among its ranks.

“Different positions, shelters and reinforcement points of the Azerbaijani armed forces were subjected to intense bombardment by units of the Armenian army, with weapons of various calibers, including mortars - reads a statement from the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry, reported by the Guardian - . As a result, we have suffered loss of personnel and damage to military infrastructure ”.

The Azerbaijani government has accused the Armenian forces of having moved weapons and troops to the border area and having initiated intelligence operations to prepare for the attack. On the other hand, Armenia claimed that it had moved its troops for an exercise and that it had responded to a "large-scale" provocation by Azerbaijan, to which they would have reacted by "launching a proportionate response".

After the night of clashes, Yerevan has asked for Russian military support, under the cooperation agreement between the two countries, and has announced that it has already appealed to the United Nations Security Council. At the same time, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has already consulted Russian leader Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to discuss the situation.

The origins of the conflict The Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, populated mainly by Armenians, declared its independence from Azerbaijan in September 1991, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The lack of recognition by Baku, the Azerbaijani capital, triggered a military conflict that led to the de facto split of Nagorno-Karabakh, still fighting for its autonomy today.

Many attempts have been made to avoid the continuation of hostilities, led by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), but the two countries continued to attack and launch provocations, such as the unilateral proclamation of the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh in the Republic of Artsakh in 2017. Since then, tensions have culminated in a six-week war in 2020, which resulted in the deaths of some 6,500 people and only ended following a Russian-brokered ceasefire.

Since then, Azerbaijan has re-established full control of Nagorno-Karabakh, but the conflict is far from over. At present, there are still many reasons for preventing a definitive resolution of the peace negotiations. The nationalist claims of the countries involved are joined by the political and strategic aspirations of powers such as Russia, which supports Armenia, and Turkey, an ally of Azerbaijan, which border the Caucasus region.

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