Armenia and Azerbaijan Sink Into Violence #87

Deepnews Digest #87

Armenia and Azerbaijan Sink Into Violence

Editor: Christopher Brennan
More than 100 people have been confirmed dead in fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, which raises worries that violence could descend to the depths of a war in the disputed region that killed tens of thousands three decades ago. While the conflict may only get a passing mention in your news outlet of choice, I thought it was a good use of’s technology to go deeper. Here are articles about the background to the fighting, efforts at peace and what it means for the world watching on.
Editor’s note
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Global Voices

Nagorno-Karabakh: An old conflict in a new geopolitical context, says South Caucasus expert Tom de Waal

To understand why, I spoke with Tom de Waal, a Senior Fellow at Carnegie Europe and expert the geopolitics of the South Caucasus, Russia and Ukraine. De Waal has traveled extensively in the region, and wrote an authoritative book on Nagorno-Karabakh, “Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan Through Peace and War”.

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Australian Strategic Policy Institute

Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Could Quickly Turn Into Regional War

There are too many external fingers in this Caucasus pie and unless this fire is doused quickly it has the potential to turn into a major regional conflict.

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Financial Times ($)

Conflict in the Caucasus

The “frozen” conflicts left behind by the Soviet collapse have a dangerous tendency to heat up suddenly. Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenian-run enclave within Azerbaijan where fighting has killed dozens since Sunday, today risks sparking a broader conflagration. Russia has links with both ex-Soviet republics and has helped to defuse past escalations, but is part of a defence pact with Armenia. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meanwhile, has become a vocal supporter of Azerbaijan. That puts the two regional powers potentially on opposite sides in a volatile region crossed by strategic oil and gas pipelines.

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Radio Free Europe

In South Caucasus, Familiar Drumbeat Gave Way To Urgent Pounding Over Nagorno-Karabakh

The UN Security Council has “strongly condemned” the violence between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces along the Line Of Contact after three days of fighting this week over the breakaway Azerbaijani region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

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Editor’s Note:

While news of conflict may have come suddenly for the casual news reader, tensions had been rising since July. Here Radio Free Europe looks at shelling then and the military exercises with Russia and Turkey that followed. – Christopher Brennan, Editor


While Turkey encourages Karabakh violence, Iran fears domestic strife

The fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan is energizing nationalist and ethnic tensions in neighboring Turkey and Iran. While Ankara encourages the violence, Tehran fears rising ethnic tensions among its own Armenian and Azerbaijani minorities.

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Associated Press

Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict: Tensions mount as forces continue fighting

Armenian Foreign Min holds phone talks with US Deputy Secretary of State

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New Europe

The demise of diplomacy: Azerbaijan’s military offensive

For the past several years, the outlook for diplomacy in Russia’s self-proclaimed “near abroad” or sphere of influence has been particularly daunting. Ranging from Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008 to its annexation of Crimea in 2014 and continuing aggression in eastern Ukraine, Western diplomacy has been largely stalled and stalemated. More recently, it was Belarus that emerged as the obvious focal point for European engagement and diplomatic efforts, with a new challenge for security and stability along the EU’s “eastern neighborhood.”

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The Guardian

Two French reporters ‘injured’ amid Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict

Armenia says two French journalists covering its clashes with Azerbaijan have been injured by shelling, as both sides continued to rebuff global calls for talks to end the fighting that erupted on Sunday.

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Brookings Institution

No peacemakers for the new/old Caucasian war

A full-blown war erupted in the South Caucasus last Sunday, September 27, and as the two belligerents — Armenia and Azerbaijan — mobilize their forces under martial law, no international authority is trying in earnest to stop the hostilities. The conflict over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region ignited 30 years ago as the Soviet Union was collapsing and has never effectively “frozen.” The cease-fire Russia negotiated in May 1994 was not backed by a peacekeeping operation, and clashes have kept occurring, most notably in April 2016.

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Jerusalem Post

Azerbaijan values strategic relationships amid Armenia clashes

Clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijan on Sunday spilled over into wider conflict that threatens to draw in Russia and Turkey and has important implications for the region. It also has important implications for Israel-Azerbaijan relations, according to discussions with several individuals knowledgeable of the relationship.

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Armenia Recalls Israel Ambassador Over Arms Sales to Azerbaijan

An Israeli-made drone can be seen in video footage published by Azerbaijan of its strikes against Armenian targets in the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, where dozens have been reported killed within a week.

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Editor’s Note:

With the conflict frozen for years, there has been a stockpiling of weapons, which now has ramifications around the region. Here Haaretz digs into drones and arms sales from Israel. – Christopher Brennan, Editor

Washington Examiner

War between Armenia and Azerbaijan helps no one, except Russia

The fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Armenian-occupied territory of Nagorno-Karabakh that erupted over the weekend is quickly escalating into a full-scale war. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have declared a state of war amid general mobilization. Massive reinforcements have been sent by both governments to the combat zone, including rocket launchers capable of hitting major cities from a long distance.

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Atlantic Council

Explainer: What’s behind the fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan?

COVID-19, plague, and now war. As if 2020 was not cruel enough, fighting erupted on September 27 between Armenia and Azerbaijan along the contact line of the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, leading Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to declare martial law and total mobilization. President Ilham G. Aliyev of Azerbaijan addressed his nation, and partial martial law was declared in a number of Azerbaijani regions, including the capital Baku. Karabakh has been at the heart of the Armenian-Azeri conflict since 1988, which resulted in the 1994 ceasefire and occasional flareups.

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NBC News

Nagorno-Karabakh: What’s behind the fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan?

As the violence between the two former Soviet states escalates, NBC News looks at what’s driving the complex conflict.

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Daily Sabah

How to ensure justice in Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict

The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region is deepening. Daily reports say that there are casualties on both sides and the Armenian Army is killing civilians in Azerbaijani territories such as Tartar and Fuzuli.

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Ahval News

Erdoğan extending the Sultanate into the Caucasus

Not satisfied with his efforts to extend Turkey’s influence into the Aegean Sea and the eastern Mediterranean, which has proved harder than similar efforts on land in Libya and Syria, President Erdogan has backed President Aliyez’s efforts in Azerbaijan’s decades long simmering conflict with Armenia.

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Associated Press

At least 18 killed as fighting erupts between Armenia, Azerbaijan

Heavy fighting breaks out over disputed region; U.N. calls for cease-fire

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‘We want more’: Armenians in America push Trump administration to support homeland

Hasmik Burushyan has not lived in Armenia, but like many young Armenian-Americans in her California city, she feels a strong connection to her ancestral land and a deep concern for what could happen next in an escalating conflict with Azerbaijan.

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Editor’s Note:

Another added dimension to the international reaction comes from diaspora communities. Here Daphne Psaledakis reports from the U.S. on the Armenian-American community in California. – Christopher Brennan, Editor


At summit, EU leaders talk tough on Turkey

EU leaders reached a deal over how to tackle Turkey, agreeing early Friday to tacitly warn Ankara of sanctions if it fails to resolve longstanding disputes with Greece and Cyprus, including over energy drilling in the Mediterranean.

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Radio Free Europe

Armenia, Azerbaijan In War Of Words Over Turkey’s Alleged Deployment Of Syrian Rebels In Nagorno-Karabakh

As the heaviest fighting in years flares between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, a war of words has erupted over reports that Turkey has sent thousands of Syrian fighters to Azerbaijan to support its Muslim-majority ally, Baku.

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