Nagorno-Karabakh: war summary / News / News agency Inforos
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Nagorno-Karabakh: war summary

Armenia and Azerbaijan pledged to cease fire on November 20, 2020. None of them had the winning bid…

Nagorno-Karabakh: war summary

I'm going to trust that the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia is over: as expected by many military analysts, both parties to the conflict have proven unable to conduct successful military operations through their individual effort, with a continuation to entail senseless losses in people and equipment. The only way out was combat termination.

As stipulated by the agreement signed with Russia's assistance, Armenia will place three Nagorno-Karabakh regions (Kelbajar, Lachin, Aghdam and part of Gazakh) under Azerbaijan's control and withdraw its troops from the Lachin corridor. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called the Karabakh agreement challenging to him, but pointed to the lack of alternatives.

In turn, President Ilham Aliyev branded the agreement as Armenia's capitulation and an end to the Karabakh conflict that has been underway since 1988.

The republics have different views on the outcome of this armed conflict. In Yerevan, a crowd of oppositionists broke into the building of the national Parliament, beat its chairman, and then tried to cause a disturbance next to the government residence, urging Nikol Pashinyan's resignation. So the fate of the current Armenian government may be sealed already...

In sharp contrast, Baku is celebrating victory: Ilham Aliyev may be traced to a national hero and enlarge his footprint in the country's leadership.

In the course of the conflict, the parties' irretrievable losses amounted to several thousand military personnel and civilians. More than half of the weapons and military equipment were knocked out of service. The economic damage has yet to be determined.

It should be assumed that there will be forces in both republics that will accuse the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan of all but betraying the national interests: warmongers can be found everywhere. However, sober-minded politicians, especially military leaders of both countries have so far advocated an immediate end to the conflict.

The Russian leadership has also insisted on this, having constantly negotiated with all the parties, including representatives of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Its President Arayik Harutyunyan backed the truce, considering it as a silver bullet in the current Nagorno-Karabakh military-political situation.

As it was trilaterally agreed, the night of November 10 saw Russia begin to airlift a 1,960-strong peacekeeping force of the Central military district's 15th Separate Motorized Rifle Peacekeeping Brigade from Ulyanovsk to Yerevan. The Russian personnel will take on the task of agreement enforcement.

The task force's headquarters will be located in Stepanakert, which will become the base for a Russian ceasefire-monitoring center.

Russia's engagement in treaty execution and the peacekeeping mission will hopefully augment its influence and ensure security and stability in the region.

Perhaps the only party to the conflict that is not completely satisfied with its outcome is Turkey. That country's leadership regarded the military path as the only means to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. Ankara, hostile to Yerevan, held out hope for a complete seizure of the Karabakh territory, its defeat, as well the defeat of the Armenian army, with evils to the Armenian people.

Rough estimates alone suggest the Azerbaijani armed forces has over 1,500 Turkish military specialists – generals, officers and instructors. Moreover, the Turks have sent to the conflict area up to 2,500 Islamic militants from Syria.

Turkey rendered extensive military assistance to the Azerbaijani army not only through weapon supplies but also engaging its military and foreign mercenaries in combat operations. Ankara therefore expects to be favored by Baku, namely as regards the continued military presence in Azerbaijan. It remains to be seen what these preferences will translate into.

Ilham Aliyev explained that the Turkish military will retain a presence in Azerbaijan to act in coordination with Russian peacekeepers on the terms and pursuant to the conditions set out in the bilateral agreements with Turkey.

Thus, Turkey has supposedly put up a good show regardless of the war outcome.

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