Dr Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan
After almost 46 days the Republic of Azerbaijan triumphed the war against Armenia which intentionally started cross border heavy shelling and bombardments on various civil population and installations. Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia have now signed an agreement on November 10 to end fierce fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh.
The aggressor Armenia’s military preparedness proved insufficient, demotivated and demoralizing that day after day it confronted with retreat and defeat. During this war faith superseded fascism, harmony conquered horrendous crimes and last but not least, nationalism defeated regional and global terrorist franchises of Armenia.
More than 29 years of principal stance, 348 months of restrain, 1508 weeks of political advocacy and 10585 days of peaceful persuasion Azerbaijan succeeded the ultimate goals of solid commitments, and guarantees of de-occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and all other adjacent regions. Fall of strategic area of Shusha proved to be terminal for Armenia which decided to sign a deal with Azerbaijan along with Russia and Turkey as peacekeepers to be deployed on the frontlines to make 4th truce effective and meaningful.
Illegally occupied Armenia has been notorious for genocide activities against peaceful people of Azerbaijan for centuries. The attackers have been disturbing geographic equation and social propositions of illegally occupied areas through holding of fake elections and referendums which ultimately proved inadequate to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh.
During all these painful years, the leadership has been advocating a just solution for Nagorno-Karabakh in accordance with the various resolutions (884 adopted unanimously on 12 November 1993, after reaffirming resolutions 822 (1993), 853 (1993) and 874 (1993), of the United Nation Security Council clearly rejected illegal occupation of Armenia and demanded de-occupation of the same. But unfortunately complex and complicated regional and international power dynamics could not resolve the issue which has been swinging between frozen and fascist pendulum for the last 29 years. Now Azerbaijan ousted Armenia form its regions in which after the singing of deal, houses are being burnt and public installations are under fire.
It was a war between tanks and think-tanks during which human capital and national narratives outrooted Armenia propaganda. It was a fierce tussle between two armies in which well-prepared armed forces of Azerbaijan became winner.
Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev termed the deal historic” and glorious victory which constitutes Armenia’s capitulation to puts an end to the years-long occupation he further added. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan described it as unspeakably painful and has now in deep dooms and glooms because of general masses outrage.
Russian president Putin said both Azerbaijan and Armenia will remain in the positions they control. There will be complete cessation of all hostilities in occupied region. Armenia will vacate large parts of occupied Karabakh. Armenia will vacate areas of Aghdam, Kalbajar and Lachin districts in near future which reconfirmed superior leadership qualities of Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev who tirelessly pursued a peaceful resolution of the lingering conflict at various regional as well as international platforms for so many years.
Armenia as a defeating country will also guarantee transport from mainland Azerbaijan to Nakhchivan exclave (Nakhichevan-Azerbaijan transportation will be unblocked, the link will be controlled by Russia). Russian peacekeepers will monitor front line (Russian peacekeepers will be in Lachin corridor for 5 years). Turkish peacekeepers will also join Russian to monitor frontline. Internally displaced persons and refugees will return to Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions under the control of the UN Refugee Agency. Last but not least, prisoners and bodies will be swapped.
It hopes that fourth truce/ceasefire deal will create the necessary conditions for a long-term and comprehensive solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis on a fair basis in line with the interests of all the stakeholders.
Recent clashes in the Nagorno-Karabakh started on 27 September. The Azerbaijani army decided to respond to several Armenian provocations and consequently started its offensive peace enforcement operation. The aggressor Armenian escalated the situation and shelled on civilian population (Tovuz) and settlements during April 2020.
Azerbaijan-Turkey series of joint military exercise further enhanced Azerbaijan operational and tactical preparedness which proved lethal for Armenia in this war. The various UVAs and its extensive and systematic operationalization and channelization has changed war theater in which struggling Armenia had no match and ultimately confronted with huge losses. In this context, Israeli-made kamikaze drones IAI Harop, and Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 UCAVs further strengthened the Azerbaijan air force capabilities. Azerbaijan military/war drones initially softened Armenian targets and paved an easy landing of ground troops into the battlefield. It also preserved its armed forces and created a huge loss to Armenian forces.
On the contrary, Armenia followed human shield policy to match with Azerbaijan’s superior drone war. Armenia adopted an anti-human strategy consisting of spreading hostilities beyond the occupied region Nagorno-Karabakh to other Azerbaijani territories. While the Azerbaijani Army is successfully de-occupying major parts of Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenian forces wasted its time and resources by using Soviet-made short and mid-range missiles to hit Azerbaijani towns such as Ganja, Tartar and Barda.
It was deliberate and the main aim was to inflict massive civilian losses and raise the political and economic cost for Baku. According to Azerbaijan figures 4-5 big cities, one major settlement, one strategic mountain and 300 villages have been liberated from Armenian forces since September 27, 2020.
Fascist Armenia did not even care about strategic energy facilities, such as Mingachevir HPP and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and bombarded both. It demonstrated the Armenian frustration and ill designs to undermine the energy security and infrastructure of the entire region. Moreover, the targeting of civil population of Azerbaijan and infrastructure was planned to try and draw Baku into attacking Armenia directly. Such a reaction would boost Yerevan’s propaganda and would offer Armenia a legitimate case to call the CSTO to send its troops to Armenia.
Azerbaijan restrained from it and responded Armenia in the battlefield. Not a single civilian Armenian killed during 6 weeks long war. Not a single schools, home, hospital or educational center was put under fire from Azerbaijan which showed its international commitment having superior human values.
Historically, the Karabakh conflict instigated from communal unrest in 1988-1990 and small scale civil war involving militias and irregular units in 1991 to an all-out war between two newly established states in 1992-1994. Loss of several territories left a deep wound in Azerbaijan’s common consciousness. Afterwards, Baku dealt with a massive humanitarian disaster as hundreds of thousands of displaced persons moved from Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts to Azerbaijan.
With better leadership qualities having strategic vision, President Ilham Aliyev cemented relations with Turkey and both the states developed a strategic partnership. It also developed trilateral strategic dialogue with Pakistan which supported it’s just moral and political rights on all international forums. Pakistan sharpened its military skills through joint drills and training sessions which ultimately boosted martial strategies.
Azerbaijan president Aliyev also maintained a good relationship with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. He did not try to upset the Kremlin and understood Moscow’s red lines in the region. In the Karabakh conflict, Aliyev tried the diplomatic route for a long time and was open to compromise.
On the other hand, Armenia’s Prime Minister, Pashinyan displeasured the Kremlin by attempting to insert pro-Western elements within Armenia’s bureaucracy and security services. His administration also opened criminal cases against Russian companies. Moreover, Pashinyan multiplied the provocations and declared his inclination to annex the occupied territories, thereby dashing hopes for a negotiated settlement and paving the way for military escalation.
Turkey helped Azerbaijan modernise its army. The Turkish army trained the Azerbaijani army, supplied Baku with some of the latest equipment in terms of electronic warfare and armed drones, and helped design an efficient strategy that neutralised Armenia’s arsenal of armoured, mechanised, and motorised formations. Resultantly, Azerbaijan’s armed forces had the upper hand over the battlespace. Armenia targeted Azerbaijan’s population centres with ballistic missiles to provoke retaliation, However, Baku remained focused on the Karabakh operations, thus neutralising any possible Russian direct intervention.
It is indeed a great geopolitical victory for Azerbaijan which further enhanced Turkish footprints in the region starting from Qatar in 2017, Libya in 2019 and Azerbaijan in 2020 all opted for Ankara as an ally. France openly supported aggressive policies of the Armenian government and did nothing to bring Armenia back to the negotiating table. Azerbaijan’s victory is an additional failure for Macron, who once more engaged in petty politicking at the expense of international peace.
Its victory has also opened the door for greater regional connectivity, socio-economic integration and food and energy cooperation. In this context, the opening of a land corridor connecting Turkey to Azerbaijan could enable more economic and cultural exchanges with other Turkic countries, namely Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan. All in all, this is a big victory for Azerbaijan. It will certainly be written in golden letters in the history of the country.
Human blood is a sacred commodity which has its own unbending and uncompromised chemistry unleashed with action-reaction theories and geopolitical bitter realities. Series of genocide of Armenia against peaceful people of Azerbaijan could not tamp spirits of self-determination, freedom, liberty and of course nationalism which remained in the hearts and souls like an unexploded volcanoes. Resultantly, Azerbaijan’s bravery out placed Armenian belligerence and superior human traits out classed traitors and finally martyrdom overridden Armenian maliciousness.
Re-occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh has now become reality in which Armenians are on flee which once again shows that fascism does not have any place in the world. Co-existence and concept of shared prosperity is the way forward. It is indeed a wake-up call for all the supporters of ethnic cleansing that humanity may be the only bench-mark for regional cooperation and horrendous crimes and conspiracies are always short-lived.