Unveiling the Shadows of War: The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and the Azerbaijani Anti-Terrorist Initiative
The Undisclosed Tragedy: 192 Azerbaijani Military Fatalities
The anti-terrorist operations in Karabakh have claimed the lives of 192 Azerbaijani military personnel, a chilling figure recently revealed by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The announcement underscores the perilous nature of anti-terrorist operations and the substantial human cost associated with them. However, the details surrounding these casualties, such as the specific circumstances and the duration of the operations, remain undisclosed.
The Historical Roots of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, an ethnic and territorial dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, roots back to the time of the Soviet Union. The region, populated primarily by ethnic Armenians, is internationally recognized as a part of Azerbaijan but is partially controlled by the self-declared breakaway state of Artsakh. The demand for the transfer of Nagorno-Karabakh from Soviet Azerbaijan to Soviet Armenia in 1988 ignited the First Nagorno-Karabakh War. The conflict escalated in the form of the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War in late 2020, which resulted in significant Azerbaijani victory and thousands of casualties.
The Azerbaijani Offensive: A Violation of the 2020 Ceasefire Agreement
Between 19 and 20 September 2023, Azerbaijan initiated a large-scale military offensive against the self-declared breakaway state of Artsakh, violating the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement. This offensive unfolded amidst a crisis heightened by an Azerbaijani blockade of the Republic of Artsakh, leading to severe shortages of essential supplies like food, medicine, and other goods in the region.
International Warnings and Genocide Alerts
The military offensive and the humanitarian crisis have drawn international attention and concern. Human rights organizations and genocide prevention experts have issued multiple alerts, warning that the indigenous Armenian population is either at risk or actively being subjected to ethnic cleansing and genocide. These alerts underscore the urgency of international intervention to prevent further violence and human rights abuses.
The Azerbaijani Blockade: A Violation of the 2020 Ceasefire Agreement
Since December 2022, Azerbaijan has violated the 2020 ceasefire agreement and international legal rulings by blockading the Republic of Artsakh. This blockade has created a humanitarian crisis for the population of Artsakh, with imports of essential goods and humanitarian convoys blockaded. The widespread shortages of essential goods and the high unemployment rate have drastically affected the lives of the region’s residents.
(Read Also: Explosion at Nagorno-Karabakh Fuel Depot Kills 125)
The International Response to the Crisis
Various countries, international organizations, and human rights observers have condemned Azerbaijan’s blockade, characterizing it as a form of hybrid warfare, ethnic cleansing, and genocide. The international community has called on Azerbaijan and Russia to restore freedom of movement through the corridor and to respect the tripartite 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire agreement signed between Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Russia.
The Future of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict
The recent Azerbaijani military offensive and the ongoing blockade have intensified tensions in the region, raising concerns about the possibility of another full-scale war. The international community’s response will be critical in preventing further violence and ensuring the safety and well-being of the region’s residents.
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