Azerbaijan Says 192 of Its Troops Were Killed, 511 Wounded in Nagorno-Karabakh
Azerbaijan’s Offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh
In an operation that took place last week, Azerbaijan regained full control over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, which had been under the control of separatists for about three decades. This move was not without casualties, with the Health Ministry of Azerbaijan reporting 192 Azerbaijani troops killed and over 500 wounded. Nagorno-Karabakh officials also reported heavy losses on their side, with at least 200 people, including 10 civilians, killed and over 400 wounded.
The Aftermath and Displacement
Following the agreement by separatist forces to surrender their weapons, and the lifting of a 10-month Azerbaijani road blockade linking the territory to Armenia, a significant number of ethnic Armenians have reportedly left the region, with many more expected to follow. Thus, raising concerns about a potential forced exodus from the region.
Discussing the “Reintegration”
Discussions concerning the “reintegration” of Nagorno-Karabakh and its predominantly Armenian population into the predominantly Muslim country have taken place on two occasions between Azerbaijan and separatist officials. However, the specifics of how this reintegration will happen remain uncertain.
The Backdrop of Nagorno-Karabakh
Nagorno-Karabakh, a region within Azerbaijan, was controlled by ethnic Armenian forces with backing from the Armenian military following separatist fighting which ended in 1994. The 2020 six-week war resulted in Azerbaijan reclaiming parts of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding territories previously taken by Armenian forces.
The Blockade and Its Implications
In December, Azerbaijan allegedly used a blockade of the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia to prevent the Armenian government from shipping weapons and extracting minerals to support the region’s separatist forces. Armenia argued that the blockade denied basic supplies to the approximately 120,000 people in Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan countered this claim, stating that supplies could be received through the Azerbaijani city of Aghdam, a solution consistently opposed by Nagorno-Karabakh authorities.
(Read Also: Tensions and Turmoil: The Ongoing Crisis in Karabakh)
With tens of thousands of ethnic Armenians reportedly leaving the region and talks of “reintegration” ongoing, the future of Nagorno-Karabakh and its population remains uncertain. The recent military operation has significantly altered the geopolitical dynamics in the region, prompting renewed attention and concern from the international community. As the situation continues to unfold, the world watches closely, hoping for a peaceful resolution that respects the rights and safety of all people involved.
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