Azerbaijan and Armenia war thread | Page 4 | World Defense

Azerbaijan and Armenia war thread

Pakhtoon yum

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Independent of current conflict, Iranian Azeris had never liked Iranian regime.
If only pakistan was ruled by competent and people that planned things for the future.

On a side note the Azeris have put up Pakistani and turkish flags everywhere in their country.
 

CHI RULES

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Iran's role in whole conflict is most suspicious one as their spiritual leader is supporting Azeris meanwhile there are pics/reports of Russian ammo transfer to Armenia via Iran, it also shows the rifts between Govt and their spiritual leadership. There are reports of Anti Muslim sentiments in Armenian controlled areas and news of atrocities are there. So at least I salute to forces helping Azeris in their cause without any sectarian hate.
 

Falcon29

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Iran's role in whole conflict is most suspicious one as their spiritual leader is supporting Azeris meanwhile there are pics/reports of Russian ammo transfer to Armenia via Iran, it also shows the rifts between Govt and their spiritual leadership. There are reports of Anti Muslim sentiments in Armenian controlled areas and news of atrocities are there. So at least I salute to forces helping Azeris in their cause without any sectarian hate.
Spiritual leadership of Iran isn't really that 'spiritual', the political leadership takes orders from him and he supports Iran's interests....
 

BATMAN

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If only pakistan was ruled by competent and people that planned things for the future.

On a side note the Azeris have put up Pakistani and turkish flags everywhere in their country.
As well Israeli flags, which is fair considering Israel has supported Azerbaijan practically. Facebook Gruppen
 
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Khafee

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Canada suspends exports of military drone technology to Turkey

Foreign affairs minister says move is in response to reports about Canadian drone tech in combat
Oct 06, 2020

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People look at destroyed buildings in a residential area in Ganja, Azerbaijan, near the border with Armenia, after shelling by Armenian forces that killed two people and wounded several other, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020. (Associated Press)


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TB2 Bayraktar combat drone


The federal government is suspending the export of sophisticated Canadian drone technology to Turkey while Ottawa investigates claims that it is being used by the Azerbaijani military against Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said Monday.

Champagne was responding to calls by Canada's Armenian community and the disarmament group Ploughshares International to stop the export of Canadian drone optics and laser targeting systems to Turkey following reports that Ankara has deployed dozens of unmanned aircraft in combat against Armenian forces in the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.

Kelsey Gallagher, an expert with Project Ploughshares who has studied exports of Canadian drone technology to Turkey, said these sensors are used by Turkish TB2 Bayraktar combat drones, allowing them to see what's happening on the ground day and night, in all weather conditions.

Armenia has accused Turkey of using TB2 Bayraktar combat drones left behind in Azerbaijan following recent joint exercises to pummel Armenian forces from the air, collect intelligence and direct artillery and missile fire at both military positions and civilian infrastructure.

Armenia also has accused Turkey of redeploying fighters from Syria to support Azerbaijani forces. Turkey has denied sending people or arms to the conflict.

Champagne's department to 'assess the situation'

"Over the last several days, certain allegations have been made regarding Canadian technology being used in the military conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh," Champagne said in a statement, adding that he directed officials at Global Affairs Canada to investigate those claims as soon as they were made.

"In line with Canada's robust export control regime and due to the ongoing hostilities, I have suspended the relevant export permits to Turkey, so as to allow time to further assess the situation."

Nagorno-Karabakh lies inside Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since it declared independence from Azerbaijan in 1991 during the breakup of the Soviet Union.


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An unexploded projectile of a multiple rocket launcher stuck in a street after shelling by Azerbaijan's artillery during a military conflict in Stepanakert, self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. (David Ghahramanyan via AP)

Fierce fighting along the entire Line of Contact in Nagorno-Karabakh raged for the ninth consecutive day on Monday, with Armenian authorities reporting heavy bombardment of the region's capital Stepanakert and several other towns. The Armenians reported being hit by cluster bombs that are prohibited by the UN Convention on Cluster Munitions.

The Azerbaijani Defence Ministry, in turn, accused Armenian forces of shelling the towns of Tartar, Barda and Beylagan. Azerbaijan's second-largest city Ganja, located about 100 kilometres north of Nagorno-Karabakh, was also "under fire," officials said.

"Canada continues to be concerned by the ongoing conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh resulting in shelling of communities and civilian casualties," Champagne said.

"We call for measures to be taken immediately to stabilize the situation on the ground and reiterate that there is no alternative to a peaceful, negotiated solution to this conflict."

Speaking at a press conference this morning in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that he is sending Champagne to Europe "to discuss with our allies the developments in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, particularly in Nagorno-Karabakh."

Armenia's embassy in Ottawa welcomed Champagne's announcement.

"This acknowledges Turkey's direct involvement in the aggression against the people of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) perpetrated by Azerbaijan," Armenia's ambassador in Canada, Anahit Harutyunyan, said in a statement, referring to the Armenian name of Nagorno-Karabakh.

"Only through joint efforts can the international community stop Turkish-supported Azerbaijani aggression, backed by foreign mercenaries, against the vulnerable Armenian population."

Armenian-Canadians want Trudeau to push for ceasefire

Canadian-Armenian community organizations that had lobbied hard to stop military exports to Turkey also welcomed the announcement.

Hagop Arslanian, deputy chairman of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) in Canada — one of the largest Armenian community organizations — said the group is "satisfied" with Ottawa's announcement.

"Let it be clear that there is no military resolution to this conflict," Arslanian said.

The Armenian community also wants Trudeau to take on a more active diplomatic role by calling his counterparts in Turkey and Azerbaijan to demand an immediate ceasefire, he added.

"Equally, we want him to call [Armenian] Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and communicate his support," Arslanian said.

The international community doubled up on its efforts to achieve a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh on Monday.

In a joint statement, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov and Jean-Yves Le Drian, France's foreign affairs minister, condemned "in the strongest terms the unprecedented and dangerous escalation of violence in and outside of the Nagorno-Karabakh zone."

The Azerbaijani embassy did not respond to Radio Canada International's request for comment in time for publication.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry issued a statement Tuesday accusing Canada of taking "a double-standard approach."

"There's no explanation for why Canada would block the export of defence materials to a NATO ally," the statement said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted on Monday that Turkey will stand with its ally Azerbaijan until it reaches "victory." He also claimed that it was the international community's silence in the face of what he called past Armenian aggression that encouraged it to attack Azerbaijani territory.

"In truth, lending support to Azerbaijan's struggle to liberate territories that have been occupied is the duty of every honourable nation. It is not possible for the world to reach lasting peace and calm without getting rid of bandit states and their bandit leaders," Erdogan said in an address to the nation following a cabinet meeting.

Earlier, Armenia's Pashinyan said "a cease-fire can be established only if Turkey is removed from the South Caucasus."
 

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Democrats urge halt to security aid to Azerbaijan in Armenia conflict

By: Joe Gould
06.10.2020
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A view of tanks which Azeri army officials said were seized during the ongoing fighting with Armenia over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region, in the town of Beylagan on October 5, 2020. (Photo by TOFIK BABAYEV/AFP via Getty Images)



WASHINGTON ― A growing number of Democrats in Congress are calling for the Trump administration to immediately suspend U.S. security aid to Azerbaijan, as fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces reaches its second week.

The hostilities have killed dozens, marking the biggest escalation in the decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh ― which is part of Azerbaijan, but run by its mostly ethnic Armenian inhabitants. The U.S. has provided military training and some equipment to both former Soviet republics, but Russia and Israel dwarf the U.S. as suppliers of military hardware to Azerbaijan.

In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week, Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and 10 other Senate Democrats called for security assistance to Azerbaijan to be suspended as they echoed international calls for an immediate ceasefire and return to diplomacy.

“We have been very critical of U.S. security assistance to Azerbaijan given the country’s human rights record and aggression in the region,” the authors wrote. “Earlier this year, at Senator Menendez’s request, the Government Accountability Office agreed to conduct a review of security assistance to the country to ensure that it aligns with U.S. interests; this violence indicates that it does not.”

The lawmakers blame Azerbaijan for instigating the fighting and NATO ally Turkey for inflaming it. The letter called on U.S. President Donald Trump to convince Ankara to immediately disengage from the conflict amid charges Turkey is sending fighters from Syria to aid Baku. Turkey denies those charges, but it is publicly supporting Azerbaijan.

Though Congress has already maintained a quiet freeze on arms sales to Turkey for nearly two years, the lawmakers said that “If Turkey is unwilling to step back from active engagement in the conflict, then the State Department should immediately suspend all sales and transfers of military equipment to Ankara.”

The Pentagon and State Department, meanwhile, have granted a range of aid to Armenia and Azerbaijan, which shares borders with Russia and Iran. Recent aid for Azerbaijan included boats, X-ray scanners and underwater surveillance gear meant to help the country secure its border with Iran, patrol the Caspian Sea, and counter terrorists, weapons proliferation and drug trafficking.

There have been three recent contracts for Azerbaijani military aid:

  • Last year, DoD awarded VSE Corp., of Alexandria, Va., a $10 million contract for unspecified counterterrorism and intelligence equipment, and in-country training in support of the Azerbaijan Maritime Security Program for the Caspian Sea.
  • Also, Smiths Detection Inc., of Edgewood, Md., was awarded a $16 million contract for X-rays and screening equipment, “to counter transnational threats,” according to the DoD announcement.
  • In August, DoD awarded United States Marine Inc., of Gulfport, Miss., a $7.6 million contract for 15 9-meter, multi-use explosive ordnance disposal response craft.

The aid is intended to achieve, “security objectives that are in the national security interests of both the U.S. and Azerbaijan,” Department of Defense Spokesperson Mike Howard said in an email.

“All DoD assistance to Azerbaijan is carefully structured so that it will not undermine or hamper ongoing efforts to negotiate a peaceful settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan or be used for offensive purposes against Armenia,” Howard said, adding that some of the training aids its NATO interoperability, participation in the Afghan war and disease detection capabilities.

Lobbying in Congress

Roughly a half-dozen lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives have individually made public pleas to suspend security assistance to Azerbaijan in recent days. That includes Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, who argued the administration should have cut off aid amid signs the conflict in the Caucuses was ramping up.

“We have been warning Pompeo and the State Department for months, if not the last few years, that between the rhetoric and [Azerbaijani] military exercises jointly with Turkey, and the incursions and attacks by Azerbaijan into Nagorno-Karabakh ... that this was getting more and more likely to be a war,” Pallone, D-N.J., told Defense News.

Pallone has also questioned why the Trump administration spearheaded an increase of roughly $100 million in security aid to Azerbaijan over 2018 and 2019 ― all under the Pentagon’s “building partner assistance program.” Pallone speculated the aid could be used in a conflict with Armenia, directly or indirectly.

“If you give them $100 million to pay for things, that’s $100 million extra for things that could be used against Armenia,” Pallone said, adding: “The concern we had, that was justified, was that you had this money going toward military purposes at the very time we knew there was this [military buildup].”

Pallone’s legislation to require a report on human rights violations by countries that received funding under the DoD program made it into the House’s version of the annual defense policy bill. It does not mention Azerbaijan by name, but Pallone has said it’s about Azerbaijan.

The Defense Department has long recognized Azerbaijan as a strategic fulcrum and sought to both work with it more closely and bring it closer to NATO, said former U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Matthew Bryza. Local roads, rail lines and airspace that comprise a crucial U.S. logistics channel into Afghanistan, and they enabled one-third of all non-lethal supplies to NATO troops at the war’s height.

Historically, all U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan has been limited under Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, although since after 9/11, there has been a regular waiver for the purposes of fighting terror groups.

Bryza, whose 2010 confirmation as ambassador faced opposition from Armenian diaspora organizations, said the recent opposition to U.S. aid to Azerbaijan has been fueled by Armenian lobbying. (Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have stepped up lobbying efforts amid the conflict, according to ForeignLobby.com.)

“The DoD is looking strategically, and the Congress is looking purely politically,” Bryza said.

The U.S. is not the only country wrestling with politics of security aid to Azerbaijan.

Canada on Monday announced it is halting arms exports to Turkey while it investigates claims ― by disarmament group Project Ploughshares ― that drone technology produced by L3Harris WESCAM in Burlington, Ontario, and sold to Turkey is being used in the fighting, on behalf of Azerbaijan.

Israel may halt commercial weapon sales to Azerbaijan, Armenian Ambassador to Israel Armen Smbatyan told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. The move came as Armenia recalled Smbatyan for consultations to protest the sale of Israeli made weapons.

Israel, which reportedly receives 40 percent of its oil supply from Azerbaijan, has sold it more than $800 million in military equipment over the last decade, including drones, loitering munitions, anti-tank missiles, and a surface-to-air missile system, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

“I believe that due to the appeal by the international organizations and many individual states for an immediate de-escalation, Israel may halt its arms sales to Azerbaijan,” Smbatyan reportedly said.
 

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In Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Erdogan eyes Turkey's "place in world order"

October 7, 2020


ANKARA (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan’s strong backing for Azerbaijan in the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh has set Turkey apart from other big nations and alarmed NATO allies that are demanding a ceasefire.

But for Erdogan, the resolute stance is a strategic priority and a costly necessity that reinforces his strategy of flexing military muscle abroad to retain support at home.

The president has described Ankara’s support for Azerbaijan as part of Turkey’s quest for its “deserved place in the world order.”

He sees an opportunity to alter the status quo over Nagorno-Karabakh - in which France, the United States and Russia have for decades led international mediation efforts and ethnic Armenians have retained control of the enclave even though it is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan.

“Turkey’s logic in almost all corners of the map is disruption. Anything that undermines the status quo is good for it, because the previous status quo was seen to counter its interests,” said Galip Dalay, fellow at Robert Bosch Academy.

“In Nagorno-Karabakh there was a frozen conflict in which it remained in Armenia’s hands. Turkey wants to undermine this game even if it cannot fully determine it” given Russia’s traditional influence in the region, he said.

Turkey’s stance - sending an implicit threat to Armenia and a message of caution to Russia, which has a defence pact with Armenia - reflects its confidence in drone warfare used in Syria, Libya and Iraq, political analysts said.

Turkish-made drones are now spearheading Azeri attacks and one senior official in Ankara told Reuters that Turks were providing infrastructure and support for the weapons, though there are no troops in the field.

Erdogan is also betting that, despite their differences over Nagorno-Karabakh, Turkey and Russia get on well enough to prevent a wider conflict in the region.

YEARS OF “NEGLECT”


Russia, the United States and France have led calls for a ceasefire over Nagorno-Karabakh but Erdogan says they have neglected the crisis over the past three decades and should not lead peacemaking. Turkey says a lasting peace will depend on proposals being made for what happens after hostilities end.

Erdogan’s stance had worsened a war of words with France, whose population includes many of Armenian origin, but it is accepted by Turkey’s main opposition parties.

Military successes and the flexing of military muscle in other parts of the world have helped his ruling AK Party, allied with nationalists, retain an edge in opinion polls despite a currency depreciation that has worsened economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Erdogan’s job approval rose nearly 5% last month, according to MetroPoll research group, after a standoff with the European Union over Mediterranean territorial rights.

“All of these conflicts out there boost the perception that Turkey is a country under siege, rightly or wrongly,” said Sinan Ulgen, chairman of the Istanbul-based EDAM think tank.

But he said that “ultimately it’s the economy that determines the political contest.”

OBLIGATION AND PRIORITY

Two economic contractions in as many years have halted the boom years under Erdogan, and Moody’s ratings agency says Turkey risks a balance-of-payments crisis after a nearly 25% drop in the lira this year.

Ankara’s reliance on gas imports from Azerbaijan, which jumped 23% in the first half of 2020, are also an incentive to take a firm position on Nagorno-Karabakh.

Defence spending jumped 16% this year to $7 billion, or 5% of the overall budget, and the military budget has soared nearly 90% in a decade.

But cross-border campaigns such as those waged by Turkey in northern Syria, Iraq and Libya are a priority for Erdogan, a second Turkish official said.

“Neither the pandemic nor the deterioration of the budget will be an obstacle to defence spending,” the official said. “It’s not preferable but it’s obligatory. Turkey is in the field with the United States and Russia. We cannot think or act small.”

A diminished U.S. presence in the region has left gaps that Turkey and Russia have sought to fill, using diplomacy to help contain conflicts in Syria’s Idlib province and in Libya, two protracted proxy wars in which they are on opposing sides.

Ankara has denied allegations - including by Russia - that it has sent Syrian mercenaries to support Azerbaijan. 9nL5N2GM2BB]

Close cooperation with Moscow in many areas means “there is no concern over being dragged into a conflict with Russia,” the second official said.

Reporting by Jonathan Spicer and Orhan Coskun; Additional reporting by Ece Toksabay and Can Sezer; Editing by Timothy Heritage
 
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