US Extends Condolences and Aid following Nagorno-Karabakh Fuel Depot Explosion
The U.S. National Security Council (NSC) has conveyed its heartfelt condolences in the aftermath of the catastrophic explosion at a fuel depot in the conflict-stricken region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The tragic incident resulted in at least 68 deaths and left hundreds injured. Adrienne Watson, the NSC Spokesperson, articulated the profound sympathy felt towards the residents of Nagorno-Karabakh and all those affected by this calamity. She further emphasized the need for continued provision of humanitarian aid to the region.
US Humanitarian Assistance in the Region
The United States has been actively assisting those impacted by the ongoing crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh. The region has seen an influx of 28,000 individuals who have crossed into Armenia to escape the conflict. To further aid these relief efforts, U.S. Administrator Power has been stationed in the affected area. The U.S. government has also announced additional humanitarian assistance to cater to the health care needs and other immediate requirements that have arisen in the wake of this disaster.
This aid is targeted towards helping local communities provide shelter, hygiene kits, blankets, and clothing to those affected or displaced due to the violent incident in Nagorno-Karabakh. The U.S. humanitarian assistance has been crucial since 2020, offering food, water, emergency medical care, evacuations, and family reunifications to conflict-affected communities in Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding region.
Devastating Impact of the Nagorno-Karabakh Explosion
The explosion at the makeshift gas station, being utilized by ethnic Armenian refugees, left a shocking number of casualties. The health ministry of Nagorno-Karabakh’s unrecognized ethnic Armenian government, the Republic of Artsakh, reported that dozens of people were in critical condition with severe burns, requiring urgent evacuation. The enclave’s health care resources were already stretched thin, and the explosion exacerbated the situation.
The blast occurred as hundreds of refugees were queuing for gas to evacuate Nagorno-Karabakh, following a successful military offensive by Azerbaijan. The incident has accelerated the exodus of ethnic Armenians from the enclave, with fears that the entire population might seek to flee in the coming days.
Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Background
Nagorno-Karabakh has been the epicenter of a long-standing conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Despite being internationally recognized as Azerbaijan’s territory, a bloody war over the enclave led to Armenia backing local ethnic Armenian separatists who succeeded in establishing control over most of the region. However, a full-scale war launched by Azerbaijan in 2020 decisively defeated Armenia and forced a shift in control over Nagorno-Karabakh.
Last week, a new offensive by Azerbaijan led to the surrender of the Nagorno-Karabakh Armenian leadership. Since then, thousands of ethnic Armenians have been preparing to leave the enclave, which has been under Azerbaijani blockade for nine months, fearing persecution under Azerbaijan’s rule.
Western countries, including the United States, have expressed concern for Nagorno-Karabakh’s Armenian population and warned Azerbaijan of its responsibility for their rights and security. The Biden administration has dispatched Samantha Power, currently administrator of USAID, and other senior State Department officials to Armenia to express U.S. support for the country amid the crisis.
Power called for international monitors and aid groups to be given access to the enclave and for Azerbaijan to facilitate the evacuation of injured civilians. She stressed the absolute necessity of independent monitors and humanitarian organizations gaining access to the people in Nagorno-Karabakh who still have dire needs.
US Aid and Future Measures
The U.S. has announced that it will provide 11.5 million in humanitarian assistance, covering a range of needs from food to psychiatric support. Power is in Armenia to gather testimonies from people fleeing Nagorno-Karabakh that she will report back to the Biden Administration as it deliberates on how to respond to the crisis.
The United States, through its actions and aid, has shown its commitment to supporting those affected by the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh crisis. It is anticipated that the international community will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide necessary assistance to those affected.
Subscribe to BNN Breaking
Sign up for our daily newsletter covering global breaking news around the world.