Nagorno-Karabakh: A Tale of Conflict, Control, and Casualties
Azerbaijan Reclaims Control Over Nagorno-Karabakh
After a significant military operation, Azerbaijan has successfully regained complete control over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The region, which has been a source of conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia for decades, has witnessed a resurgence of violence recently. The Azerbaijani forces fought fiercely and were successful in their mission to reclaim the breakaway region. This victory, however, came at a heavy cost.
The Human Toll of Conflict
The struggle for control over Nagorno-Karabakh was far from a bloodless affair. Official reports indicate that a total of 192 Azerbaijani soldiers lost their lives in the offensive, and more than 500 were injured. These figures underscore the severity of the conflict, and the sacrifices made by the Azerbaijani forces in their pursuit of reclaiming the disputed region.
Armenia’s Response to the Siege
During the Azerbaijani offensive, the Armenian population in the region lived in constant fear. Residents hid in basements, terrified of the Azerbaijani forces surrounding and possibly infiltrating their city. The situation in Stepanakert, the separatist stronghold, was particularly dire. The city and other parts of Nagorno-Karabakh lost most basic services in the wake of the offensive, leading to a humanitarian crisis.
Azerbaijan’s Humanitarian Aid
In response to the emerging humanitarian crisis, Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Emergency Situations announced the dispatch of food and other aid to the people of Nagorno-Karabakh. The aid, which included food, hygiene products, and bread, was sent via trucks from Aghdam, located east of the region. This action marked a significant shift in the region’s dynamic, as supplies for Nagorno-Karabakh were previously sourced from Armenia to the west.
Concerns and Protests in Armenia
The Azerbaijani offensive ignited a wave of protests in Armenia, where demonstrators demanded the resignation of their leader for the third consecutive day, accusing him of making excessive concessions to Baku. Opposition parties blamed the leader’s mishandling of the war for what they perceived as a national humiliation. The government, while acknowledging the emotional toll of the situation, appealed to the public to remain calm and not to cross legal boundaries in their protests.
(Read Also: Tensions and Turmoil: The Ongoing Crisis in Karabakh)
The Ongoing Conflict and Its Implications
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has its roots in the 1990s, following the disintegration of the Soviet Union. The region, populated mainly by ethnic Armenians, was the site of a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, resulting in the region coming under Armenian control. In 2020, Azerbaijan launched a six-week war, resulting in a Russian-brokered ceasefire and Armenia ceding territories it had controlled for three decades. The recent Azerbaijani offensive and subsequent control over the region mark a significant shift in the power dynamics of this long-standing conflict.
While Azerbaijan’s control over Nagorno-Karabakh marks a significant turning point in the conflict, it does not signal an end to the dispute. The human toll of the offensive, the ensuing humanitarian crisis, and the political upheaval in Armenia underscore the complex and multifaceted nature of the conflict. As the dust settles, the international community will be watching closely to see how the situation evolves and what steps are taken to ensure peace and stability in the region.
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