Azerbaijan and Armenia war thread | World Defense

Azerbaijan and Armenia war thread

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Turkey criticises Armenia after clashes with Azerbaijan, supports Baku

By Tuvan Gumrukcu
September 27, 2020

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ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey sharply criticised Armenia on Sunday following clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region, saying Yerevan was an obstacle to peace and vowing to continue its support for Azerbaijan.

In a statement on Twitter following a phone call with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called on Armenian people to stand against leaders who he said were “dragging them to catastrophe”, adding that Ankara’s solidarity with Baku would “increasingly continue”.

“Armenia, which has added another to its attacks against Azerbaijan, has shown once again that it is the biggest threat to peace in the region,” Erdogan said, and added that international reaction to the conflict had been insufficient.


Turkey calls on “the entire world to stand with Azerbaijan in their battle against invasion and cruelty,” Erdogan said.

Armenia hit back at the comments, saying Azeri forces had fired first in Sunday’s clashes. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan urged the international community to ensure Turkey does not involve itself in the conflict.

Turkey has traditionally backed Muslim-majority Azerbaijan in the long-running conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, a region inside Azerbaijan where the population is predominantly ethnic Armenian. It declared independence in 1991.


Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said Armenia must immediately cease what he called hostility towards Azerbaijan that could “throw the region into fire”. Akar later spoke with his Azeri counterpart and voiced support for Baku.

Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Armenia had violated international laws by carrying out attacks and accused it of being “reckless” and showing no interest in negotiations.

Later on Sunday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey was talking to members of the Minsk group, which mediates between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Russia, France and the United States are co-presidents.
 

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The Fight For Nagorno-Karabakh: Documenting Losses on The Sides Of Armenia and Azerbaijan​


Oryx | Sunday, September 27, 2020


https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-P2Jifpmp...-Pws8WS5xwidOF0YlAO4gwCLcBGAsYHQ/s1280/65.png
By Stijn Mitzer in collaboration with Jakub Janovsky

Armed clashes which commenced early in the morning of the 27th of September 2020 over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh have so far caused considerable human and materiel losses on both sides. The renewed clashes are an extension of the three decades long Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and at present the short-term implications can only be guessed at. While solid information regarding materiel losses is scarce, rumours fly wildly – and unconfirmed and false reports are readily repeated for propaganda purposes. This article will attempt to break down all confirmed material losses by carefully studying the footage made available by both warring parties.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is an ethnical and territorial conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts, which are controlled by the self-declared Republic of Artsakh, but are internationally recognized as belonging to Azerbaijan. The status of Nagorno-Karabakh has been disputed since 1918, when Armenia and Azerbaijan declared independence from the Russian Empire. In the early 1920s, the predominantly Armenian-populated region of Nagorno-Karabakh became an autonomous oblast within the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1988, the regional legislature in Nagorno-Karabakh voted in favour of joining the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, a move that found little support in Moscow. Following the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union, Armenian separatists backed by Yerevan took over control of large parts of Nagorno-Karabakh, home to a significant Azerbaijani minority, as well as seven adjacent Azerbaijani districts. In the ensuining fighting, an estimated 25.000 to 30.000 people were killed with many more displaced from their homeland. The seperatists declared independence as the the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. In February 2017, the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic officially became the Republic of Artsakh.

Despite a Russian-brokered ceasefire agreement in place since 1994, violations of the ceasefire occur at regular intervals, the most significant of which took place in 2016 and July 2020, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of soldiers and civilians. From July to September 2020, Azerbaijan conducted a series of military exercises with the participation of Turkey's ground and air forces, which likely strengthened Azerbaijan's perceived power and resolve to end the Karabakh conflict in its favour.

In addition to providing military training and equipment to Azerbaijan's military, Turkey has also begun exporting drones (and likely electronic warfare equipment) to Azerbaijan. [1] Dozens of Armenian soldiers awoke to this new reality this morning when Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs started releasing MAM-L Smart Munitions over Armenian positions, striking at least four 9K33 Osa and three 9K35 Strela-10 mobile surface-to-air missile systems. These systems appeared just as unaware and incapable of tackling the drone threat overhead as the Russian Pantsir-S1s in Syria and Libya, and all were destroyed without ever knowing what hit them. Turkey's highly efficient use of drones and supporting electronics warfare systems has boosted its increasingly assertive international role and growing political and military weight (Bayraktar Diplomacy). It has now reached the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and will certainly influence the outcome of the current round of fighting.

A detailed list of the destroyed and captured vehicles of both sides can be seen below. This list will be updated as additional footage becomes available.

This list only includes captured vehicles and equipment of which photo or videographic evidence is available. Therefore, the amount of equipment destroyed is undoubtedly higher than recorded here.

In an effort to streamline the list and avoid unnecessary confusion, losses on the side of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh are listed together.

(Click on the numbers to get a picture of each individual captured or destroyed vehicle)

Armenia / Republic of Artsakh

Tanks (3, of which destroyed or abandoned: 3)

Infantry fighting vehicles (5, of which destroyed or abandoned: 5)

Surface-to-air missile systems (7, of which destroyed: 7)

Trucks (7, of which destroyed or abandoned: 7)

Strategic locations hit (2)

  • military base: (1)
  • munitions stockpile: (1)

Azerbaijan

Tanks (5, of which destroyed or abandoned: 1)

Infantry fighting vehicles (6, of which destroyed or abandoned: 5)

Engineering equipment (1, of which destroyed or abandoned: 0)

Helicopers (1, of which destroyed or abandoned: 1)


 

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The Weird And Worrying Drone War In The Caucasus (Updated)​

David Hambling | Forbes | Jun 22, 2020

A forgotten war is gaining new momentum in the Caucasus, as opponents arm themselves with increasingly advanced drone technology for spying and strikes. The alarming implications stretch far beyond a small corner of Eurasia.

After the breakup of the Soviet Union, conflict between the newly independent states of Armenia and Azerbaijan flared up over Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian enclave that’s legally part of Azerbaijan. A ceasefire was brokered by Russia in 1994, after Armenia gained effective control of the territory. Nagorno-Karabakh has declared itself an independent state called Artsakh but has failed to win international recognition and is still widely considered part of Azerbaijan. Conflict simmers between Azerbaijan and Artsakh with their patron Armenia.

A jet-powered drone

IAI Harop drone

In 2016 matters boiled over into open warfare with dozens and perhaps hundreds killed on both sides. Intermittent violence has continued since. The 2016 escalation was notable for a new type of weapon, the Harop ‘loitering munition’ or kamikaze drone supplied to the Azeris by Israel. Harops reportedly successfully hit many targets including artillery, air defense systems artillery system and a busload of Armenian troops.
The Harops were supplied by IAI. Rival company Aeronautics then engaged in aggressive marketing which turned into something like black comedy. In 2017 a team from Aeronautics was in Azerbaijan to finalize a contract for Orbiter 1K kamikaze drones, and were asked to attack enemy positions. Apparently when the Israeli drone operators refused, “senior representatives of the company took control and operated the craft themselves, ultimately missing their targets,” according to the Jerusalem Post.

Israeli authorities imposed a two-year ban on Aeronautics for this stunt. But when the ban expired in 2019 the company promptly announced a $13m deal to sell drones to Azerbaijan. In the longer term, the Azeris plan to produce a licensed copy of the Orbiter known as Zarba themselves. In 2019 the Azeris also bought a batch of SkyStriker drones, also from Israel.

Local drone production is already stepping up a gear. In 2018, an Azeri company announced it was working on three different sizes of kamikaze drone, including one with an 11-pound warhead able to cruise for three hours looking for targets, while another was working on a drone called Bat which can return for re-use if no target is found.

The other side has not been slow either. Armenia has been producing drones since 2011, when it showed off the basic Krunk (‘Crane’) scout drone, long since superseded the Krunk-9 and Krunk-11.

In 2018 Armenia announced it was buying military drones from Artsakh. The small state evidently has an active drone industry, and last month the Artsakh Defense Ministry announced it had successfully tested a new combat drone with mass production planned in the next few months. They even released a video of the kamikaze drone hitting a target, stating the weapon is ‘not inferior to similar devices designed by leading countries in terms of technical characteristics.’

A 2019 video from Armenian outlet Shant News shows a whole range of military drones on display.

Drones are ideal for this type of conflict. They are cheap, highly accurate and can be used without risking a pilot. They are also deniable. Even if a drone shot down, the operators can claim it is nothing to do with them, as the U.S. did with Firebee spy drones shot down over China in the 1960s and many times since. There have been a series of claims of drones shot down, most recently in April the Artsakh forces downed an Azeri Orbiter Drone.

That small, remote antagonists should launch small aircraft packed with explosives at each other may not seem like cause for concern. But drone technology will not stay confined to one area. And the drones are farm from primitive.

“Many former Soviet countries inherited STEM and military manufacturing know-how and capabilities following the dissolution of Soviet Union,” Samuel Bendett, an analyst with the Center for a New American Security in Washington, D.C. told this reporter. “We have seen, over the past decade, the near monopoly on drone manufacture and use move from a handful of key nations — U.S., U.K., Israel, Iran, China — to literally dozens of countries.”

Ukraine is a particularly telling example. During the conflict with Russia, the country has had to rapidly develop its own drone capability. University teams, technologists, hobbyists and soldiers worked together to get effective designs to the front line as fast as possible with impressive results. When the U.S. supplied RQ-11 Raven tactical drones to Ukraine in 2016, they quickly fell prey to Russian jammers, something the Ukrainians had learned to counter on their own drones.

The U.S. military is also acquiring commercial Skydio drones, another indication that the latest in the commercial sector can match what the military can field, with its four-to-six-year lag in equipment purchase. The new Artsakh drone really may match what the rest of the world can offer.

“This trend is going to accelerate — already, Ukraine, Estonia, Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are either producing and using, or announced the intention to domestically produce unmanned systems,” says Bendett.

But while a slew of minor nations now manufacture their own, many NATO members like the U.K. and Germany still lack tactical attack drones. And while the U.S. forces have their own Switchblade loitering munitions, they lack an effective defense against the enemy kamikaze drones that they are increasingly likely to face.

“UAVs [Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – drones] are cheap mission multipliers, and small militaries like those in the Caucuses can amplify their footprint by acquiring unmanned systems,” says Bendett.

Companies like Azeri outfit AZDynamics are actively seeking to export drone technology. The more they proliferate, the easier it will be for everyone to get hold of such weapons. The drone war in the Caucasus could soon become a drone war in your backyard.

UPDATE July 16th: Hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan have entered an active phase as fighting breaks out again. At least 16 people have been reported killed; drones have again been used by both sides, with both claiming to have shot down opposition drones. Armenian officials claim that Azerbaijani drones attacked civilian targets in the town of Berd. Fighting now appears to have paused but the situation is tense. In Azerbaijan, thousands of protesters have taken to the streets to support retaking Nagorno-Karabakh by military action.

 

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So Turkey is mobilising Syrian mercenaries to the borders with Azerbaijan and Armenia?
Armenia is worried about this, but from what I been hearing nothing has happened and if they have moved Syrian Mercenaries there, they probably won't mention it right away anyways. There is reports that Turkey deployed F-16s and ~4,000 soldiers to Azerbaijan to support them....

as for the CSTO getting involved, the only one I truly see remotely intervening is Russia, and knowing them they will try and de-escalate things and then afterwards try and make high pitch weapon sales for both sides.
 

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Deadly Fighting Over Disputed Nagorno-Karabakh Enters Second Day

Updated September 28, 2020
10:00 GMT


Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh enters a second day amid international calls for restraint.

Both sides have accused each other of using heavy artillery amid reports of dozens of deaths, including civilians, and hundreds of people being injured.

The long-simmering conflict in the volatile South Caucasus erupted into the deadliest bouts of fighting in four years on September 27, threatening to draw in regional powers Russia and Turkey.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev declared a partial military mobilization on September 28 as Baku said a total of six Azerbaijani civilians, including five members of one family, had been killed and 19 injured since the fighting began.

Authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian separatist enclave inside Azerbaijan, said on September 28 that two civilians and a total of 32 of its fighters were killed in clashes with Azerbaijani forces a day earlier.

They said more than 100 people had been wounded since Azerbaijan launched what it described as an air and artillery attack.

Armenia's Defense Ministry said in a statement that "intensive fighting continued overnight."

Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said in a September 28 statement that "Armenian armed forces have been shelling the town of Tartar," which is adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh.

Both sides fielded helicopters, drones, tanks, and artillery during the first day of fighting.

Nagorno-Karabakh has long experienced periodic border skirmishes along the so-called Line of Contact that separates Armenian and Azerbaijani forces on the front line of Europe's longest-running conflict.

In July, a days-long flare-up that included drone attacks and heavy artillery fire killed at least 17 people, mostly soldiers on both sides but including at least one civilian.

The latest violence appeared to be more than a flare-up, with Armenian and Azerbaijani officials describing it as war amid mutual recriminations about which side started the offensive.

"We are on the brink of a full-scale war in the South Caucasus," Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian warned, accusing Azerbaijan of carrying out preplanned aggression.

On September 27, Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh declared martial law and a total mobilization in response to what they said was Azerbaijani attacks on the enclave, including in the regional capital of Stepanakert.

Azerbaijan, which introduced martial law and a curfew, said it had launched a military operation in response to shelling along the Line of Contact. It also said its forces had seized control of up to seven villages.

Nagorno-Karabakh initially denied that but the region’s de facto leader, Arayik Harutiunian, later acknowledged losing "positions" near Talish and in the south. He vowed to take back the territory.

The Armenian side claimed it had inflicted heavy casualties on Azerbaijan, including destroying dozens of tanks as well as downing helicopters and drones. Azerbaijan denied the claims.

As in previous rounds of violence, both sides appear to be exaggerating the military casualties inflicted on their opponent and engaging in information warfare.

The escalation of violence drew swift responses from European countries, Russia, the United Nations, the United States, and others calling for both sides to cease hostilities immediately and enter dialogue.

Regional power Turkey, meanwhile, said it would support Azerbaijan, its traditional ally.

"By adding to its attacks against Azerbaijan, Armenia has shown once again it is the greatest threat to peace and tranquility in the region," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on September 27.

Armenia's Pashinian called on global powers to prevent Turkey from interfering in the conflict amid allegations from Yerevan that the Turkish military was deepening its involvement.

In August, Turkey and Azerbaijan completed two weeks of joint air and land military exercises, including in the Azerbaijani enclave of Naxcivan. Some observers have questioned whether Turkey left behind military equipment or even a contingent of troops.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, reported on September 27 that Turkish-backed Syrian rebels could be sent to support Azerbaijan.

Nagorno-Karabakh leader Harutiunian accused Turkey on September 27 of deploying mercenaries and warplanes to the fight, claiming, "the war has already" gone "beyond the limits of a Karabakh-Azerbaijan conflict."

Hikmat Haciyev, an aide to Aliyev, denied that Turkey had sent fighters from Syria to Azerbaijan, calling it "complete nonsense."

The potential for robust Turkish involvement in the conflict is being watched closely by Russia, which is already on opposing sides with the NATO member in conflicts in Libya and Syria.

Russia sells weapons to both Azerbaijan and Armenia, but has a military base in Armenia and favors that strategic partnership.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict emerged during the breakup of the Soviet Union, when the region and seven adjacent districts of Azerbaijan were seized by Armenian-backed separatists who declared independence amid a 1988-1994 conflict that killed at least 30,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands.

Since a fragile, Russian-brokered truce in 1994, the region has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces that Azerbaijan says include troops supplied by Armenia. The region's claim to independence has not been recognized by any country.

With reporting by AFP, Reuters, and Tagesschau

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Armenian, Azeri forces battle again, at least 21 reported killed

28th Sep 2020

At least 21 people were killed on Monday in a second day of heavy clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh that reportedly involved air power, missiles and heavy armour.

The fiercest fighting in years between the two former Soviet republics has revived concern over stability in the South Caucasus, a corridor for pipelines carrying oil and gas to world markets.

Any move to all-out conflict could drag in major regional powers Russia and Turkey. Moscow has a defence alliance with Armenia, while Ankara backs its ethnic Turkic kin in Azerbaijan.

Angela Frangyan, a documentary film maker living in the Nagorno-Karabakh capital Stepanakert, said residents had taken cover in bomb shelters and constant shelling could be heard. All shops were closed and hardly anyone was in the streets, she said.

Majority Christian Armenia and mainly Muslim Azerbaijan have come to blows periodically in their decades-long conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway region that is inside Azerbaijan but run by ethnic Armenians.

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan demanded Armenia immediately withdraw from Azeri lands he said it was occupying and said it was time to end the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis.

Armenia’s parliament condemned what it said was a “full-scale military attack” by Azerbaijan on Nagorno-Karabakh that was receiving Turkey’s help, adding Ankara’s involvement could risk destabilising the region. Azerbaijan denied Turkey was taking part in the fighting.

Azerbaijan declared a partial military mobilisation, and its foreign minister said six Azeri civilians had been killed and 19 wounded. An Armenian defence ministry representative said 200 Armenians were wounded, Interfax reported.

Nagorno-Karabakh reported 15 more of its soldiers had been killed, after saying on Sunday 16 of its servicemen had been killed and over 100 wounded when Azerbaijan attacked. Nagorno-Karabakh also said it had recovered some territory that it had lost control of on Sunday.

Interfax news agency quoted the press secretary of Azerbaijan’s defence ministry, Anar Evyazov, as saying the Azeri military occupied several strategically important heights near the village of Talish in Karabakh.

“Missile, artillery and air strikes are being applied to the enemy’s positions, which forces the enemy to surrender the held positions,” he said, adding that several important strategic heights around Talish village had been taken.

Evyazov also said Lernik Babayan, commander of the Armenian military’s airborne assault battalion, had been killed near Talish. It was not immediately possible to verify the report.

The clashes have spurred a flurry of diplomacy.

China urged both sides to show restraint. Russia called for an immediate ceasefire and Turkey said it would support Azerbaijan.

Under international law, Nagorno-Karabakh is recognised as part of Azerbaijan. But the ethnic Armenians who make up the vast majority of the population reject Azeri rule.

They have run their own affairs, with support from Armenia, since Nagorno-Karabakh broke away from Azerbaijan in a conflict that erupted as the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

Although a ceasefire was agreed in 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia frequently accuse each other of attacks around Nagorno-Karabakh and along the separate Azeri-Armenian frontier.
 

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Explainer: Who's fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, and why does it matter?

By Mark Trevelyan
September 28, 2020
Updated 2 hours ago

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FILE PHOTO: An Azerbaijani service member drives an armoured carrier and greets people, who gather on the roadside in Baku, Azerbaijan September 27, 2020. REUTERS/Aziz Karimov


(Reuters) - Fierce fighting has broken out between Azerbaijan and its ethnic Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, a new and dangerous eruption of a decades-old conflict.

WHERE AND WHAT IS NAGORNO-KARABAKH?

It’s a mountainous, forested patch of land that sits inside the territory of ex-Soviet Azerbaijan and is recognised under international law as part of that country. But the ethnic Armenians who make up the vast majority of the estimated 150,000 population reject Azeri rule. They have been running their own affairs, with support from Armenia, since Azerbaijan’s troops were pushed out in a war in the 1990s. A ceasefire was agreed in 1994 but at least 200 people were killed in a violent flare-up in 2016. Nagorno-Karabakh survives almost totally on budget support from Armenia and donations from the worldwide Armenian diaspora.

WHY HAS FIGHTING BROKEN OUT NOW?

Tensions between the two sides have been building over the summer, and spilled into direct clashes on Sunday. The timing is significant because the outside powers that have mediated in the past - namely Russia, France and the United States - are distracted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the upcoming U.S. presidential election and a list of world crises from Lebanon to Belarus. Lower-level clashes in July prompted only a muted international response. Turkey, which held large military exercises with Azerbaijan in July and August, has been even more conspicuous in its support compared with past crises. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Ankara would stand by Azerbaijan “with all its resources and heart”. He did not directly address whether Turkey is supplying the Azeri side with military experts, drones and warplanes, as Armenia has alleged and Azerbaijan has denied.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS?

Past outbreaks of fighting have killed some 30,000 people since 1988. Already dozens have been killed and several hundred wounded in the latest flare-up. Olesya Vartanyan, an analyst with Crisis Group, said Monday witnessed an increase in deployment of heavy weaponry such as rockets and artillery, bringing a higher risk of civilian casualties that would make it harder to pull the two sides back from all-out war. That in turn could draw in other powers such as Turkey and Russia and destabilise the South Caucasus region, an important corridor for pipelines carrying oil and gas.

WHAT COULD STOP THE FIGHTING?

Several countries, including Russia and China, have called for a halt to hostilities but so far without any discernible impact. Russia potentially holds the key: it has a mutual defence pact with Armenia and a military base there, but also enjoys good relations with Azerbaijan and has no interest in the conflict spreading. If its diplomacy succeeded, Moscow could earn kudos for ending the fighting at a time when it is under intense criticism on other fronts, including over its backing for Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko after a disputed election and over the poisoning of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny in Siberia last month, which Germany says was carried out with a nerve agent. President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Sunday but it is not yet clear if he has attempted to talk to Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev.

Reporting by Mark Trevelyan, Editing by William Maclean
 

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Turkey's Erdogan says Armenia must withdraw from Azeri lands

By Reuters Staff
September 28, 2020
Updated 3 hours ago
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ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday Armenia must immediately withdraw from territory he said it was occupying in Azerbaijan, and it was time to end a crisis over the breakaway region after clashes between Azeri and Armenian forces.

At least 21 people were killed on Monday in a second day of fierce fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh, a region inside Azerbaijan run by ethnic Armenians. Ankara has pledged support for Azerbaijan in the conflict.

“It is time to end the crisis in the region, which started with the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh. The region will once again see peace after Armenia immediately withdraws from the Azeri lands it is occupying,” Erdogan told an event in Istanbul.

He said the Minsk group - which is led by Russia, France and the United States and mediates between Armenia and Azerbaijan - had failed to solve the issue for almost 30 years.

Azerbaijan “had to take matters into its own hands whether it likes it or not,” Erdogan said. “Turkey will continue to stand with...Azerbaijan with all its resources and heart.”

He did not directly address whether Turkey was currently playing an active role in the conflict, as Armenia has said. Azerbaijan denies the claim.

The fighting reportedly involves air power and heavy armour.

Earlier, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said Armenia must send back foreign “mercenaries and terrorists” to achieve stability in region.

Ethnic Armenians who make up the vast majority of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh reject Azeri rule. Yerevan and Baku frequently accuse each other of attacks in the region despite a 1994 ceasefire.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu, Ali Kucukgocmen and Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Jonathan Spicer
 

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Death toll rises to 39 as fighting between Armenia, Azerbaijan enters second day

AFP
28 Sep 2020

1601317414400.png


Armenian separatists in the breakaway region of Nagorny Karabakh said on Monday 15 more of its fighters have been killed in a flare-up of a territorial dispute, bringing the death toll to 39 as the fighting entered a second day.

World leaders have urged a halt to the fighting between Azerbaijan and the Armenian rebels after clashes erupted on Sunday, raising the spectre of an all-out conflict that could draw in regional powers — Russia and Turkey.

Ex-Soviet Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked since the early 1990s in a territorial dispute over the Armenia-backed secessionist enclave, with deadly fighting flaring up earlier this year and in 2016.

The defence ministry in Karabakh announced a total military death toll of 32 on Monday. Seven civilian fatalities were reported earlier, including an Azerbaijani family of five and one woman and a child on the Armenian side.

The Armenian defence ministry said heavy fighting continued overnight and Monday morning along the frontline and claimed it had won back positions taken Sunday by Azerbaijani forces.

But Baku claimed further advances.

Azerbaijani forces "are striking enemy positions using rocket-artillery and aviation ... and have taken several strategic positions around the village of Talysh," the defence ministry said.
"The enemy is retreating," it added.

Martial law

Armenian military officials said Azerbaijani forces were continuing to attack rebel positions using heavy artillery, while Azerbaijan's defence ministry accused separatist forces of shelling civilian targets in the town of Terter.

Baku claimed to have killed 550 separatist troops, a report denied by Armenia.

The clashes erupted on Sunday morning with both sides accusing each other of initiating hostilities.

Fighting between Muslim Azerbaijan and majority-Christian Armenia threatened to embroil regional players Russia, which is in a military alliance with Yerevan, and Turkey, which backs Baku.

Armenia accused Turkey of meddling in the conflict and sending mercenaries to the battlefield.

France, Germany, Italy, the United States, the European Union and Russia have urged a ceasefire.

Armenia and Karabakh declared martial law and military mobilisation on Sunday, while Azerbaijan imposed military rule and a curfew in large cities.

Ethnic Armenian separatists seized the Nagorny Karabakh region from Baku in a 1990s war that claimed 30,000 lives.

Talks to resolve one of the worst conflicts to emerge from the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union have been largely stalled since a 1994 ceasefire agreement.

France, Russia and the United States have mediated peace efforts as the "Minsk Group" but the last big push for a peace deal collapsed in 2010.
 

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Seems like Russia/Iran are supplying Armenia while Turkey is supporting/supplying Azerbaijan. Fighting seems to be contained to that disputed region and Azerbaijan does not seem to be trying to retake the whole territory rather trying to seek progress in negotiations over control of the region. I'm not convinced that will bring results so not sure what the plan is. Fighting is continuing and is intense with dozens of casualties between both sides. I still suspect there will be a cease fire reached within a week, though. With Azerbaijan maybe taking over some portions of the disputed region.
 

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Erdogan has bitten off far more than he can chew which will cost him financial and political capital in the short run.
Armenia is worried about this, but from what I been hearing nothing has happened and if they have moved Syrian Mercenaries there, they probably won't mention it right away anyways. There is reports that Turkey deployed F-16s and ~4,000 soldiers to Azerbaijan to support them....

as for the CSTO getting involved, the only one I truly see remotely intervening is Russia, and knowing them they will try and de-escalate things and then afterwards try and make high pitch weapon sales for both sides.
 
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