Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 03, 2020

Is The War Over Nagorno-Karabakh Already At A Stalemate?

Seven days after Azerbaijan attacked the Armenian held Nagorno-Karabakh territory it has not made any territorial progress.

Overview map

Iran and Georgia have both large Azeri and Armenian minorities within their territories.
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Detail map

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The highlands of Nagorno-Karabakh are ethnically Armenian. The light blue districts were originally Azeri but have been ethically cleansed during the war in the early 1990s.

Turkey is supporting Azerbaijan by supplying it with Turkish drones and with 'moderate Syrian rebel' mercenaries from Syrian and Libya. All are flown in through Georgian air space. Other mercenaries seem to come from Afghanistan. Additional hardware comes by road also through Georgia. Another supporter of the attacker is Israel. During the last week Azerbaijani military transport aircraft have flown at least six times to Israel to then return with additional Israeli suicide drones on board. These Harop drones have been widely used in attacks on Armenian positions. An Israeli made LORA short range ballistic missile was used by Azerbaijan to attack a bridge that connects Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia. Allegedly there are also Turkish flown F-16 fighter planes in Azerbaijan.

Turkey seems to direct the drones and fighter planes in Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh through AWACS type air control planes that fly circles at the Turkish-Armenian border.

The attack plan Azerbaijan had in mind when it launched the war foresaw taking zones of several miles per day. It has not survived the first day of battle. Azerbaijan started the attack without significant artillery preparation. The ground attack was only supported by drone strikes on Armenian tanks, artillery and air defense positions. But the defensive lines held by Armenian infantry were not damaged by the drones. The dug in Armenian infantry could use its anti-tank and anti-infantry weapons to full extent. Azerbaijani tanks and infantry were slaughtered when they tried to break into the lines. Both sides had significant casualties but overall the frontlines did not move.

The war seems already to be at a stalemate. Neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan can afford to use air power and ballistic missiles purchased from Russia without Russian consent.

The drone attacks were for a while quite successful. A number of old air defense systems were destroyed before the Armenians became wiser with camouflaging them. The Azerbaijani's then used a trick to unveil hidden air defense positions. Radio controlled Antonov AN-2 airplanes, propeller driven relicts from the late 1940s, were sent over Armenian positions. When the air defense then launched a missile against them a loitering suicide drone was immediately dropped onto the firing position.

That seems to have worked for a day or two but by now such drone attacks have been become rare. Dozens of drones were shot down before they could hit a target and Azerbaijan seems to be running out of them. A bizarre music video the Azerbaijanis posted showed four trucks each carrying nine drones. It may have had several hundreds of those drones but likely less than one thousand. Israel is currently under a strict pandemic lockdown. Resupply of drones will be an issue. Azerbaijan has since brought up more heavy artillery but it seems to primarily use it to hit towns and cities, not the front lines where it would be more useful.

It is not clear who is commanding the Azerbaijani troops. Three days ago the Chief of the General Staff of Azerbaijan was fired after he complained about too much Turkish influence on the war. That has not helped. Two larger ground attacks launched by Azerbaijan earlier today were also unsuccessful. The Armenians are currently counter attacking.

In our last piece on the war we pointed to U.S. plans to 'overextend Russia' by creating trouble in the Caucasus just as it is now happening. Fort Russ notes:

The current director of the CIA, Gina Haspel, was doing field assignments in Turkey in the early stages of her career, she reportedly speaks Turkish, and she has history of serving as a station chief in Baku, Azerbaijan, in the late 1990s. It is, therefore, presumable that she still has connections with the local government and business elites.

The current Chief of the MI6, Richard Moore, also has history of working in Turkey — he was performing tasks for the British intelligence there in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. Moore is fluent in Turkish and he also served as the British Ambassador to Turkey from 2014 to 2017.

The intelligence chiefs of the two most powerful countries in the Anglosphere are turkologists with connections in Turkey and Azerbaijan. It would be reasonable to assume that a regional conflict of such magnitude happening now, on their watch, is far from being a mere coincidence.

Before President Trump stopped the program the CIA had used the Azerbaijani Silk Way Airlines in more than 350 flights to bring weapons from Bulgaria to Turkey to then hand them to 'Syrian rebels'. Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is not only a CIA station but also a Mossad center for waging its silent war against Iran.

The former Indian ambassador to Turkey M.K. Bhadrakumar has written two interesting pieces on the current conflict. In the first one he reminds us on the 2018 color revolution in Armenia which he had thought meant trouble for Moscow.

I have never perceived it that way. While Armenia's current Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan tried to get into business with 'western' powers and NATO there was no way he could fundamentally change Armenia's foreign policy. A hundred years ago Turkey, with the second biggest NATO army, had genocided Armenians. They have never forgotten that. The relation to Azerbaijan were also certain to continue to be hostile. That will only change if the two countries again come under some larger empire. Armenia depends on Russian arms support just as much as Azerbaijan does. (Azerbaijan has more money and pays more for its Russian weapons which allows Russia to subsidize the ones it sells to Armenia.)

After Nikol Pashinyan was installed and tried to turn 'west' Russia did the same as it did in Belarus when President Lukashenko started to make deals with the 'west'. It sat back and waited until the 'west' betrayed its new partners. That happened in Belarus a few weeks ago. The U.S. launched a color revolution against Lukashenko and he had nowhere to turn to but to Russia. Now Armenia is under attack by NATO supported forces and can not hope for help from anywhere but Russia.

Iran likewise did not fear the new government in Yerevan. It was concerned over Pashinyan’s recent diplomatic exchanges with Israel which were at the initiative of the White House. But that concern has now been lifted. To protest against Israel's recent sale of weapon to Azerbaijan Armenia has called back its ambassador from Israel just two weeks after it opened its embassy there.

Pashinyan will have to apologize in Moscow before Russia will come to his help. As Maxim Suchkov relays:

This is interesting: Evgeniy "Putin's chef" Prigozhin gives short interview to state his "personal opinion" on Nagorno-Karabakh. Some takeaways:

- Karabakh is Azerbaijan's territory
- Russia has no legal grounds to conduct military activity in Karabakh
- there are more American NGOs in Armenia than national military units
- PM Pashinyan is to blame
- until 2018 Russia was able to ensure ARM & AZ discuss conflict at the negotiation table, then US brought Pashinyan to power in Yerevan and he feels he's a king & can't talk to Aliyev

I wonder if Prigozhin's remarks suggest he'd be reluctant to deploy his Wagner guys to Armenia, if needed or if he is asked to do so, or he's just indeed stating his own views or it's a way to delicately allude to Pashinyan that Moscow not happy with him ... ?

Russia's (and Iran's) interest is to refreeze the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. But that requires compliant people on both sides. It therefore does not mind that Azerbaijan currently creates some pressure on Pashinyan. But it can not allow Azerbaijan to make a significant victory. One of its main concern will be to get Turkey out of the game and that will require support for Armenia. Iran has a quite similar strategy. The U.S. will probably try to escalate the situation and to make it more complicated for Russia. It seems to silently tell Turkey to increase its involvement in the war.

Russia will likely only intervene if either side makes some significant territorial gains. Unless that happens it will may well allow the war to continue in the hope that it will burn out:

The upcoming winter conditions, coupled with the harsh terrain, will limit large-scale military operations. Also, the crippled economies of both Azerbaijan and Armenia will not allow them to maintain a prolonged conventional military confrontation.

Posted by b on October 3, 2020 at 17:28 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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thanks b....informative... another proxy war is how this looks to me with all the usual suspects involved... they couldn't get what they wanted in syria, so now onto this...

Posted by: james | Oct 3 2020 17:42 utc | 1

Trump hasn't said much about this conflict yet. He probably has his eye on Armenian/American voters.

Posted by: dh | Oct 3 2020 18:04 utc | 2

The war started the day after negotiations between Russia and Turkey over Syria and maybe Libya also failed. Now the Azeri military complains about too much Turkish involvement which can only mean one thing--complaining about taking orders from Turks. So this looks like a Turkish aggression against Moscow? Meant to make a point about Syria? Libya?

Posted by: Kali | Oct 3 2020 18:05 utc | 3

In fact, most of your links are propaganda from both sides. We really have no idea what is going on on the ground.

In fact, most of your links are propaganda from both sides. We really have no idea what is going on on the ground.

Azerbaijan's position is justified, given that Armenia illegally occupies Azeri territory. The failure here is on the OSCE group for not being able or willing to resolve the conflict. Azerbaijan has a right to regain its territory by force, if necessary.

Russia may very well allow Azerbaijan to retake its territory, if it can, but draw a red line as to entering Armenia proper. The Current Armenian government is hardly a friend of Russia.

A good summary of the situation is Pepe Escobar's https://asiatimes.com/2020/10/explosive-stakes-on-the-armenia-azerbaijan-chessboard/


Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Oct 3 2020 18:17 utc | 4

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Oct 3 2020 18:17 utc | 4

Saker's link doesn't require a login
https://thesaker.is/whats-at-stake-in-the-armenia-azerbaijan-chessboard/

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Oct 3 2020 18:21 utc | 5

Thanks B.

Posted by: Josh | Oct 3 2020 18:27 utc | 6

@ Blue Dotterel | Oct 3 2020 18:17 utc | 4... do you feel the same way about crimea and ukraine taking it back? curious... you live in turkey if i am not mistaken.. are you turkish??

Posted by: james | Oct 3 2020 18:29 utc | 7

Mountains are not good places to fight wars. Tends to be bloody, expensive, and useless.

I wonder what Haspel thinks she is doing too?

Maybe they could federate Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia, form a union state, call it Caucasia, we can send all our white supremacists there.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 3 2020 18:31 utc | 8

First Israeli attack on Armenia in 2017

In a rare move, the Defense Ministry suspended the export license of an Israeli drone manufacturer to Azerbaijan in light of claims that the company attempted to bomb the Armenian military on the Azeris behalf during a demonstration of one of its “suicide” unmanned aerial vehicles last month.
The two Israelis operating the two Orbiter 1K drones during the test refused to carry out the attack, Two higher ranking members of the Aeronautics Defense Systems delegation in Baku then attempted to carry out the Azerbaijani request, but, lacking the necessary experience, ended up missing their targets.
Last year, Azerbaijan used another Israeli suicide drone, an Israeli Aerospace Industries Harop-model, in an attack on a bus that killed seven Armenians.
Last year, the country’s president, Ilham Aliyev, revealed Azerbaijan had purchased some $5 billion worth of weapons and defense systems from Israel.

Posted by: Gary | Oct 3 2020 18:32 utc | 9

Posted by: james | Oct 3 2020 18:29 utc | 7

My citizenship is the same as yours. No one recognizes Nagorno Karabagh independence, not even Armenia.

Bulent Ecevit, two time PM of Turkey, leftist and a poet, suggested the logical solution to the problem years ago. He suggested that Armenia cede land along the Armenian/Iran border of similar size so that Azerbaijan could unite with its southern territory Nakhchivan, thus Nagorno Karabagh could be exchanged for this territory. Both sides would be winners one assumes.

Apparently, no one liked the idea despite its fairness. I assume the Azeris in NK would have to be exchanged with the Armenians in the corridor in a population exchange for this to be realized.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Oct 3 2020 18:44 utc | 10

@2 Kali

"The war started the day after negotiations between Russia and Turkey over Syria and maybe Libya also failed"

More than a week before start of the war, everyone involved in the region politics knew the war is imminent. Two days before the start of war Zarif rushed to Moscow.

Posted by: arata | Oct 3 2020 18:55 utc | 11

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 3 2020 18:31 utc | 8

You mean the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic
https://wiki2.org/en/Transcaucasian_Democratic_Federative_Republic

Didn't last long.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Oct 3 2020 18:57 utc | 12

This bastard of Prigozhin goes where the money flows.
And the money flows from Baku.
Do not give much credit to this thug.
Or perhaps Crimea belongs to Ukraine?

Posted by: Iñigo | Oct 3 2020 19:02 utc | 13

@ Blue Dotterel

"Bulent Ecevit, two time PM of Turkey, leftist and a poet, suggested the logical solution to the problem years ago. He suggested that Armenia cede land along the Armenian/Iran border of similar size so that Azerbaijan could unite with its southern territory Nakhchivan, thus Nagorno Karabagh could be exchanged for this territory. Both sides would be winners one assumes.

Apparently, no one liked the idea despite its fairness. I assume the Azeris in NK would have to be exchanged with the Armenians in the corridor in a population exchange for this to be realized."

That reads like a reasonable solution. Too bad it wasn't embraced.


b "The highlands of Nagorno-Karabakh are ethnically Armenian."? Nagorno Kharbakh is internationally recognized Azerbaijan territory

Pashinyan's placement in Armenia was meant to give an advantage to those that 'brung him' Your claims to the otherwise are some kind of pretzel logic.
Georgia absolutely flat out denied any passage of 'rebels' through their territory. That claim is utter unsubstantiated rubbish.

"have never perceived it that way. While Armenia's current Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan tried to get into business with 'western' powers and NATO there was no way he could fundamentally change Armenia's foreign policy"

Why because you say he couldn't? The one constant is change.


Posted by: R Rose | Oct 3 2020 19:03 utc | 14

While it is not a solution as such, I fully agree with b's last point about Russia and Iran preferring to 'refreeze' the game and remove Turkey from the board.

Since the kick off I have wondered to what extent this is an Azerbaijani initiative and to what extent a Turkish one.

Either way, as I posted on the open thread, Lavrov and Cavusoglu agreed a couple of days ago that a ceasefire was necessary and Russia reiterated its strong stance against the presence of foreign militias in the conflict. Let's hope sober heads prevail. As Rouhani stated very clearly, the region can not withstand another war.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 3 2020 19:04 utc | 15

Posted by: james | Oct 3 2020 18:29 utc | 7

Sorry, didn't really answer your question. Kosovo, N. Cyprus, Crimea (annexation) and NK independence are all regarded as illegal accoding to international law, as far as, I know. None have had a proper UN sponsored referendum.
Although Turkish N. Cyprus did vote to reunite with Greek S. Cyrprus in a UN referendum, but the Greek Cypriots nixed it, and were immediately admitted to the EU as a prize for their pigheadedness.

Is it any wonder that Turks don't trust the Christian West or East? Neither the Grek Cypriots or the Armenians have any incentive nor desire to negotiate in good faith because the US, Europe and Russia are unwilling to compel them to, but reward them instead with territorial freezes that benefit them.

The ethnic Muslim Turks in both cases get screwed because of the racist propaganda directed at them through the ages.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Oct 3 2020 19:11 utc | 16

Wow, Blue Dotterel, the hatred for Armenians runs deep in you. Nakhichevan was handed over to Azerbaijan by the Soviets even before Karabakh/Artsakh was. Then the ethnic cleansing of its majority Armenian population and destruction of ancient Armenian monuments began so there would be little trace of its pedigree. Armenia has been chipped away at and betrayed by their so-called betters generation upon generation. They are not budging nor should they.

Posted by: Pat | Oct 3 2020 19:19 utc | 17

You can buy as many weapons as you want, if your soldiers don’t know how to fight it’s not going to help. Whether you get 4000 Syrian rebels or 40,000 to Azerbaijan it still won’t help them. If Azerbaijan could take those lands they wound have done it without asking Russia’s permission. Even with advanced weapons they stand no chance. Armenians are using mostly antiquated and cheap air defense tech to shoot down the most advanced and expensive drones in the world. Thousands of their troops got slaughtered And hundreds of tanks destroyed so they could get one village that no one needs ? Wow great results. If they continue with these results for 2 more weeks they are going to need a brand new army. One thing Azeris have difficulty understanding is that in real life Might makes Right. Armenians learned this lesson back in 1914 when they got slaughtered and no one cared, not even the Christian west or orthodox Russia. Azeris just need to learn to leave with defeat and shame. And Azeris don’t understand how bizarre and funny their army music videos look outside Azerbaijan. Same thing with Armenian videos. Not sure why both sides think there is a need to glorify war which creates grief and misery.

Posted by: Galust | Oct 3 2020 19:30 utc | 18

As always and interesting piece of work with some interesting comments and links for one to learn some angles on this situation.

Posted by: circumspect | Oct 3 2020 19:32 utc | 19

Posted by: Pat | Oct 3 2020 19:19 utc | 18

What makes you think I hate Armenians? I grew up with many Armenian friends and acquaintences in my home country. Even in Turkey, I have worked with Armenians (Turkish citizens, of course) and even had and Armenian (from Armenia) cleaning women for my flat.

I certainly do think Armenians have had poor to incompetent, even racist leaders. Sort of like the US recently. Indeed, both countries have even had a similar Covid19 mismanagement.

No, I have no problem with Armenians, any more than I do with USAians or any other peoples.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Oct 3 2020 19:33 utc | 20

Posted by: Pat | Oct 3 2020 19:19 utc | 18

You state "the ethnic cleansing of its majority Armenian population" with out any context, but you do realise that Armenians are quite capable of and certainly committted ethnic cleansing themselves. From the Pepe Escobar article:
https://thesaker.is/whats-at-stake-in-the-armenia-azerbaijan-chessboard/

“The peace talks are going nowhere because Armenia is refusing to budge (to withdraw from occupying Nagorno-Karabakh plus 7 surrounding regions in phases or all at once, with the usual guarantees for civilians, even settlers – note that when they went in in the early 1990s they cleansed those lands of literally all Azerbaijanis, something like between 700,000 and 1 million people).”

So, fact, the Armenians ethnically cleansed some 700,000 to 1 million Azeris from the Azeri lands they now occupy including NK.

Ethnic cleansing is a crime against humanity. Unfortunately, is commonplace in war time, and even in peace time.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Oct 3 2020 19:55 utc | 21

To make countries eligible to become part of the NATO the west first they would need to be cleansed going through a western inspired and planed color revolution. Russian resistance formula to prevent these countries joining NATO is to make these countries an economic, political and military basket case by making parts of these countries’ territory contested, and out of control of western recognized seating governments. Once countries territorial integrity becomes challenged and out of control of western inspired governments, it becomes a challenge to be absorbed by any for any alliances. Such a country is a failed country dependent on western economic, political and military freebies. Likes of Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan etc. We shall see when, US/west feel, this will not work and will go nowhere, and tries to climb down the unipolar peak. Both of these countries are dependent on Iran and Russia.

Posted by: Kooshy | Oct 3 2020 19:56 utc | 22

Blue Dotterel @ 17:

Self-determination is considered a major principle of international law. This principle is included in the UN's Charter (Chapter 1). Even if a group of people goes ahead with declaring its independence and breaking away from a country it dislikes being part of, as in the case of Crimea, without consulting with the UN in any way, the UN cannot object to this act. What Crimea did, did not violate international law.

Had the Crimeans consulted with the UN, they very likely would have been advised to remain part of Ukraine.

Self-determination does not require any support or sponsorship from the UN.


Posted by: Jen | Oct 3 2020 20:30 utc | 23

Good analysis by MOA, and I also hope the war burns out going nowhere.

As to those that say NK is Azeri territory: after the Armenians were genocided on the street of Baku in the 1990's and Azeri's destroyed 5,000 Armenian monumemts would you just 'walk away' and not protect the people of NK? And after getting out followed by the Azeri's butchering the Armenians of NG it will be ignored!

Why did the Turks bring all those jihadis to Azerbaijan to fight: they will run the massacres in NK.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Oct 3 2020 20:33 utc | 24

Posted by: Jen | Oct 3 2020 20:30 utc | 24

I am not disagreeing with the Crimean's decision, and indeed sympathize with it, but still question whether it shouldn't be considered illegal. I mean, really, how does it differ from Kosovo separating from Serbia, or the Turkish Cypriots from the Greeks. The UN does not consider the Turkish Cypriots independent. Perhaps they need to be absorbed by Albania and Turkey respectively to be considered "legal", just as Russia absorbed Crimea, although it is not considered legal, either. So why hasn't Armenia annexed NK? Why hasn't the UN recognized NK as a separate state?

Anyway, we are not discussing our preferences here. The Greek Cypriots rejected uniting their country with the Turks under a UN referendum, but the Turks voted for a united country. Why are the Turkish Cypriots not recognized as a country by the UN or anyone, but Turkey. Why have they not been rewarded with EU membership as the Greeks were? Is it any surprise that the Greeks won't negotiate in good faith with the Turks? Why should they? They get the benefits. the Turks not.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Oct 3 2020 20:47 utc | 25

As I noted in the last thread on this topic: the war serves to make the Azeris more dependent on the West. 'Winning' the war is perhaps not the goal of those behind the conflict.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 3 2020 20:50 utc | 26

Amusing typo in "... but have been ethically cleansed during the war in the early 1990s."

Posted by: Flo | Oct 3 2020 20:52 utc | 27

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Oct 3 2020 20:33 utc | 25

So far the jihadis are hearsay, not fact nay more than the PKK are fact fighting with the Armenians. It would not be surprizing in either case, but neither has been confirmed as fact, but merely propaganda.

Again, it is not surprising that some people in the "Christian world attribute all the massacres and destructions on the Muslims but ignor the massacres and ethnic cleansing committed by the "Christian" side. This is is a tacit, perhaps subconscious racism that has existed for hundreds of years. It is so difficult to be objective when you have been brought up to dislike, perhaps even hate the other, isn't it?

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Oct 3 2020 20:54 utc | 28

Posted by: Flo | Oct 3 2020 20:52 utc | 28

Yeah, someone's got to learn to proof read.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Oct 3 2020 20:56 utc | 29

@ Blue Dotterel ... thanks for your comments... you never said, but i take it you are of turkish descent.. either way, i like the comments you make, even if i don't know enough to agree or disagree with them.. there are usually 2 sides to every story, but we often don't hear both sides stories..

Posted by: james | Oct 3 2020 21:03 utc | 30

"The Greek Cypriots rejected uniting their country"
As I understand it the war in Cyprus started when Greek Cypriots abolished the rules stipulated by British colonizers meant to subjugate majority Greek population. Those rules gave Turk Cypriots larger portion of the power then the Greek.
Voting for unification expecting to come back to the same discriminatory laws against Greek Cypriots is non-option for the Greek Cypriots.
The other thing regarding proposition to Armenians to trade its own historical land for the other part of its own land and call if fair is very biased by my opinion. It is almost the same as proposition to Serbia to trade part of its land with current Serbian majority in the Nato occupied part of the country (Kosovo and Metohia) for the other part of the Serbia proper where some of the land has Albanian majority.
Proposal to trade a corridor to the Azerbaijans Nakhchivan for the corridor to Armenians Nagorno Karabagh would be a fair proposal.
So in both cases/proposals (Cyprus and Armenia) on the surface seem fair but if someone scratch the surface the situation appear to be far from the fair.
And in the both cases the presentation is biased for the Turkish side ... by accident.

Posted by: Хау јес ноу | Oct 3 2020 21:13 utc | 31

MoA Rocks

Posted by: Et Tu | Oct 3 2020 21:16 utc | 32

Stupid people fighting stupid wars for stupid reasons. The peoples of the Caucasus need to learn to live in peace with each other or the region will continue to be a backwater exploited for great power geopolitical games.

Russia and Iran are correct to stay out of this and let the idiots kill each other. If there was any significant security threat from the mob of unruly idiots running Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia; the Russian and Iranians would roll over them all in 48 hours and there is not a damn thing anyone outside the Caucasus could do about it.

Posted by: sad canuck | Oct 3 2020 21:20 utc | 33

Posted by: Flo | Oct 3 2020 20:52 utc | 28

Yeah, someone's got to learn to proof read.

Agreed, sorry Mr B, no malice intended, but your blog's credibility with unfamiliar audiences could potentially be undermined with some occasionally 'liberal' use of the English language.

Respect for using your foreign language skills of course, but perhaps a friendly proof reader with native English skills could also be an idea..

Posted by: Et Tu | Oct 3 2020 21:21 utc | 34

Posted by: james | Oct 3 2020 21:03 utc | 31

No, I am of mixed European descent, both east and west. And yes, that is the problem; we seldom do seek out both sides. When one looks at the Assange case, one sees the the problem of our age (and many others) where the prosecution is allowed to present its case with all prejudice, but the defense is repeatedly hampered by the supposedly impartial judge. And the media, well what to the people get - propaganda, often through ommision in this case.

Similarly, peoples are judged by through the propaganda of a culture or society, usually to benefit those with power. So people are taught to demonize or denigrate the other assuming their own to have upstanding moral character or, if defeated in some way, victims needing redress.

After the bombing of the Turkish consulate in Ottawa in the early 80s by an Armenian terrorist group, ASALA, I made a point of educating myself on the so called genocide issue, but had a hard time finding the Turkish point of view in Canada. As fortune would have it, I found employment in Turkey, and eventually discovered what was difficult to find in Canada: an alternative point of view concerning the issue and many others. Examining the writers' treatment of facts and their academic backgrounds was certainly educational in many cases.

Suffice it to say that on being able to actually see the "defense", I came to different judgements from those I would be able to come to in my home country.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Oct 3 2020 21:23 utc | 35

i recommend a piano duel between an Azerbaijan and Armenian to work it out... forget the guns and killing people part...

one example of armenian musician (on youtube) Tigran Hamasyan

one example of azerbaijan musician (on youtube) Leila Figarova

Posted by: james | Oct 3 2020 21:33 utc | 36

@ Blue Dotterel | Oct 3 2020 21:23 utc | 36.. thank you for this as well.. i hear what you are saying.. it is an ongoing battle to get all the information and nuances.. we probably don't ever get all the information necessary which is why i resort to believing war is not the answer.. easy for me to say this here on the westcoast of canada...

Posted by: james | Oct 3 2020 21:36 utc | 37

Ah yes, the "other side's" point of view about Armenian genocide. Did you look for the Nazis' point of view about the Shoah, too?
Point is, Turkey has been genociding (directly or by proxies) non-Muslim people since the late 19th century, and keeps trying to do it everywhere it can. In a way, Kurds are lucky to be Muslim, they're just occupied and suppressed instead of being mass-murdered by the millions - unlike Cypriots, Greeks, Armenians, Yazidis, Assyrians and others.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Oct 3 2020 21:49 utc | 38

The seven surrounding regions should be returned to Azerbaijan, so that 600,000 refugees can return to their homes. NKAO should be allowed to join Armenia to avoid creating new refugees.

I understand that legally NKAO is part of Azerbaijan, but Armenians have been living in Artsakh for thousands of years, and it is unrealistic to expect them to give up and leave. On the other hand, it is morally wrong to preserve the status quo and thus accept the ethnic cleansing of the 90s. That’s why a compromise is needed.

Posted by: S | Oct 3 2020 21:50 utc | 39

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Oct 3 2020 19:55 utc | 22

Ethnic cleansing is a crime against humanity. Unfortunately, is commonplace in war time, and even in peace time.

Yeah, when was that when Bulgarians expelled Turks from Bulgaria, 1989? It was tragic, hard to watch.
Nationalism is evil. I blame French for that disease.

Somewhat unrelated question: so Karabakh is written in Turkish Karabağ, which is quite similar (to me) to Montenegro, Karadağ. Is the similarity accidental, or both words have related meaning / connotation?

Posted by: hopehely | Oct 3 2020 21:53 utc | 40

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Oct 3 2020 20:54 utc | 29

So far the jihadis are hearsay, not fact nay more than the PKK are fact fighting with the Armenians. It would not be surprizing in either case, but neither has been confirmed as fact, but merely propaganda.

https://uk.yahoo.com/news/syrian-recruit-describes-role-foreign-173138233.html

Posted by: foolisholdman | Oct 3 2020 21:54 utc | 41

Blue Dotterel | Oct 3 2020 18:44 utc | 10:

Bulent Ecevit, two time PM of Turkey, leftist and a poet, suggested the logical solution to the problem years ago. He suggested that Armenia cede land along the Armenian/Iran border of similar size so that Azerbaijan could unite with its southern territory Nakhchivan, thus Nagorno Karabagh could be exchanged for this territory. Both sides would be winners one assumes.
I would not be one who so assumes. Armenia would be nuts to give up their border with the one neighbor supportive of them while creating contiguity between Turkey and Azerbaijan’s main territory.

Posted by: David G | Oct 3 2020 22:16 utc | 42

i recommend the 2 articles b linked to up above by M.K. Bhadrakumar for greater historical context of what is at play here...

Posted by: james | Oct 3 2020 22:20 utc | 43

@james #37 re: piano duel

One of my all-time favorite recordings is Love, Devotion, Surrender (Santana, McLaughlin). The very first piece on the album, a cover of Coltrane's "A Love Supreme," has the two guitarists engage in a master-acolyte argument that frantically escalates, culminating in a crescendo of...agreement?

Posted by: Dr Wellington Yueh | Oct 3 2020 22:30 utc | 45

foolisholdman | Oct 3 2020 21:54 utc | 42:

Yeah, those Syrian “rebels” that Turkey shipped to Azerbaijan are more than hearsay and rumor. My heart really bleeds for them that when they got there they found they were facing a well-equipped and trained army, rather than having their pick of defenseless Christian villages where they could bring to bear their skills in robbing, raping, enslaving, and beheading.

Posted by: David G | Oct 3 2020 22:33 utc | 46

Posted by: sad canuck | Oct 3 2020 21:20 utc | 34

Correct. This is what you get when chimpanzees are allowed to form "states" to further their primate competition with each other.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Oct 3 2020 22:42 utc | 47

@b Thanks for the detailed analysis!

Even without conquering anything, with a large supply of drones and cheap yet robust comms (I feel the need to think of point to point IR, but I don't know enough about modern radio), the attacker can do a lot of damage without losing anything that expensive, i.e. potentially cheap spotter and relay drones, plus the munitions themselves. Air defense technology made to counter turn-of-the-century jets/helis/cruise-missiles, is not really appropriate. Handing out manpads in quantity creates other problems.

Posted by: ptb | Oct 3 2020 23:00 utc | 48

@ Blue Dotterel:

Both North Korea and South Korea were admitted to the UN in 1991. Neither was a UN member previously.

A most informative article by Bernhard. Especially compared to the nonsense from Pepe Escobar.

Posted by: jetguy | Oct 3 2020 23:20 utc | 49

This is what I come to MoA for. And it's nice to see b disclose his authorship with his trademark idiomatic slips ("full extend" for "to their full extent", 'unveil' for 'reveal' and 'relicts' for 'relics', etc).

Posted by: Patroklos | Oct 3 2020 23:32 utc | 50

right on Patroklas.

Posted by: arby | Oct 3 2020 23:48 utc | 51

Patroklos | Oct 3 2020 23:32 utc | 50:

“Full extend” was a slight error, but “unveil” seems perfectly fine to me, and “relicts” was a better choice than “relics” in that context. (Though really the Antonov An-2 isn’t either a relic or relict “from the late 1940s”: they were produced in vast numbers for decades.)

Posted by: David G | Oct 3 2020 23:59 utc | 52

@ Dr Wellington 46: Also 'Visions of the Emerald Beyond' by The Mahavishnu Orchestra is a fantastic album that I think captures the Fusion era with a sense of refinement and less of the "slop".

Posted by: Chevrus | Oct 4 2020 0:16 utc | 53

Posted by: David G | Oct 3 2020 23:59 utc | 52

Extend should be extent, I like discover better there than reveal or unveil, and relic has religious connotations, relict implies "remnant" which might work, derelict suggests inoperable, hmmm.

Maybe "remnant" or "survivor" would work.

But to be honest B's usage didn't bother me reading over it, the Internets is nothing if not slovenly about grammar and usage.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 4 2020 0:18 utc | 54

Some people here speak of yet more "exchanges" of territory as if it wouldn't involve 100% replacement of the people living there. and almost certainly by murder. They seem to think ethnic cleansing can be undone by more ethnic cleansing or at the very least loudly support one more round of it as a "final solution". They make it easy to understand why Erdogan references Hitler in positive terms.

The suggestion that Armenia and Artsakh losing their borders to Iran is fair is silly and anything but fair. It is an invitation to more war and genocide after such a "peace deal". The "peace plan" is nothing but siege warfare, it is a barely disguised war plan targeting Armenia and Artsakh.

North Cyprus being presented as some kind of Turkish benevolence belies the fact of the current ethnic Turkic dominance of the demographics of North Cyprus which did not happen by natural means, ie. it was/is over forty years of steadfast ethnic cleansing. Almost none of them were Cypriot when the Turkish invasion happened no matter how much they lie and pretend they were.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Oct 4 2020 1:28 utc | 55

@hopehely how conveniently you forget that Bulgaria was under the Ottoman rule for 500 years and plenty of Bulgarian got murdered by the Turks during that time. WHEN the Bulgarians rebelled against the Turks in 1875–78, the Europeans didn't wept for ALL the Bulgarian women, children and men that were savagely slaughtered by the Turks, but instead sent one guy who claimed he never saw any atrociousness.
YEah, most of modern peoples' memory goes as far back as WII, everything else is forgotten. FUCK YOU, the Turks have always been savages.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Oct 4 2020 2:00 utc | 56

Before President Trump stopped the program the CIA had used the Azerbaijani Silk Way Airlines in more than 350 flights to bring weapons from Bulgaria to Turkey to then hand them to 'Syrian rebels'. Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is not only a CIA station but also a Mossad center for waging its silent war against Iran.

This is dubious. Why use an Azeri airline to ferry weapons over the border that separates Bulgaria from Turkey, with a choice of three highways, an electrified railroad, or even by a ship (164 nautical miles between the main ports of the two countries).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 4 2020 2:11 utc | 57

If Blitzkrieg failed the Azeris will use the attrition war tactic and that is absolutely certain to succeed. Murad Gazdiev tweeted selfies posted by Jihadi imports in Azeri uniforms in Azerbaijan here: https://mobile.twitter.com/MuradGazdiev/status/1312372865937932289
Jihadis will therefore be used as canon fodder by Azerbaijan while the Ottomans take over the air combat, directly or indirectly. Unless Azerbaijan is stupid enough to attack Armenia directly there is nothing Russia will ever do about it.

At some point approaching rapidly Armenian frontline positions will collapse and then there will be a panicked refugee flood into Armenia from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding occupied Azeri areas. At that point Nagorno Karabakh will become impossible to defend. Whether Azerbaijan permits Erdogan to seed the area with jihadis is an open question, but at the least Erdo will place Ottoman troops there to "guard against Armenia".

Without Nagorno Karabakh Armenia is actually worth very little to Russia. Even if it could be "taught a lesson" by Putinist restraint it would be strategically useless and a resource hole. A NATO Armenia, with or without a NATO Azerbaijan, would be a strategic disaster but that's the way things seem headed.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Oct 4 2020 2:18 utc | 58

Watching the latest South Front videos it is easy to see how drone technology makes it difficult to move vehicles and set up fixed positions. It looks like a very high technology affair to counter drones.

Very expensive very costly training would equate to excellent results in second and third world areas for combat drones. Again the war party wins. It would be cheaper to build stable societies. What a toxic mess. It must be some weird parallel groups of death cults pushing this continued chaos.

Maybe is is just plain old human nature with high tech advantages over bronze and iron weapons. Even the bronze age brought a long period of peace and prosperity for a time.

Counter-Drone equipment


Posted by: circumspect | Oct 4 2020 2:39 utc | 59

Turkey resupplies weapons to Azerbaijan through the fake independent Georgia

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 4 2020 2:44 utc | 60

@circumspect #59 re: human nature (stoopid monkeys with guns)

Pride, stubbornness and stupidity - toxic, and tragic. A movie that quite well illustrates this is Lolly-Madonna XXX. It's such a brutally sad movie.

Posted by: Dr Wellington Yueh | Oct 4 2020 2:48 utc | 61

If Blitzkrieg failed the Azeris will use the attrition war tactic and that is absolutely certain to succeed. Murad Gazdiev tweeted selfies posted by Jihadi imports in Azeri uniforms ...
Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Oct 4 2020 2:18 utc | 58

I beg to differ. This is not Libya, both sides have relatively large armies, Armenians have weapons, high ground, prepared positions and people who believe that the choice is between standing the ground and exile (or worse). They will not be demoralized by few hundred casualties. Azerbaijan has low ground, attack uphill is not easy, and the motivation of soldiers is not as good. After bringing few hundred or even few thousands of second rate jihadists the equation will not change (inequality if you will).

Of course, if the war is protracted, both sides will need supplies. Except for Turkey, no one declared the will to supply either side, but unofficial traffic is bound to happen. Russia and Iran will surely neutralize any supplies from Turkey and Israel, they need to maintain the regional balance that so far is in their favor.

Then there is no potential for tipping the balance by direct intervention: it will trigger direct Russian response. Concerning the coming winter, one should read Wikipedia "Battle of Sarikamish". On New Year Eve of 1915, Turkish army advised by Germans attacked Russian positions after crossing high mountains. Because of even bloodier fighting in France, Russia was attacking in East Prussia to relieve the French and Caucasus Army was at half of full strength. The result was that 1/3 of Russian troops were lost, a lot of them to frostbite, and about the Turks there are debates: did 1/10 of them survive, a bit less, or a bit more.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 4 2020 3:58 utc | 62

Please can somebody explain to me why Armenia did not have an embassy in Israel before this year? Is there some relation with the fact that the USA did not have one in WhiteRussia (Belarus) until last spring?

Thanks you b,for a very informing article!

Posted by: willie | Oct 4 2020 7:36 utc | 63

willie | Oct 4 2020 7:36 utc | 64:

The U.S. opened its embassy in independent Belarus in 1992. I don’t know whether what you said about the Armenian embassy in Israel is true, but if it isn’t, then the relation between the two assertions is that they’re both false.

Posted by: David G | Oct 4 2020 7:59 utc | 64

Kooshy
What country has Russia turned into a basket case?

Posted by: Johny Conspiranoid | Oct 4 2020 8:29 utc | 65

That`s no big surprise. Wikipedia says something about widespread corruption and mismanagement within the Azerbaijani military, with desertation rates as high as 20% (apparently already in peace time). If that is only half true it also explains why Azerbaijan did only a partial mobilization while the Armanian side fully mobalized right at the beginning of the war. Azerbaijan is not capeable on an organizational level of full mobilization.

The Azerbaijani leader apparently believed that a high military budget and modern high-tech weapons will bring victory. After a few days or at best weaks of fighting the stocks of drones and expensive precision ammunition will be exhausted. The longer the war lasts the more the superior organisation and training of the Armenians will make itself felt.

Turkey will be only of limited help. While it can and will deliver drones, the ongoing massive "purges" of the Turkish military since 2016 has dimished it`s value as a fighting force. The Turkish military is good in utilizing drones and loosely organized jihady militias against equally loosely organizid enemy militias, but they are no match against a well organized and trained army.

Posted by: m | Oct 4 2020 8:34 utc | 66

Kooshy @ 23, Johnny Conspiranoid @ 66,

It's not Russia's intention to turn former Soviet republics like Belarus or Armenia into basket cases. They become so by their decisions to hew closer to Brussels and discover the consequences of doing so.

Belarus and Armenia are members of the Eurasian Customs Union. At the same time, they are interested in trading with EU countries and themselves hope to become EU members so they can enjoy what they have been led to believe are the benefits of belonging to the EU. In particular they (especially their publics, and young people in particular) are keen to be part of the Schengen Zone so their people can move around Europe without needing visas.

They may not realise until too late that in becoming members of the EU, they must give up membership of the Eurasian Customs Union. This is because Russia, in not being a member of the EU (because among other things, being a member of the EU requires a nation to be or to become a member of NATO, and Russia's application to join NATO was rejected by NATO back in the 1990s, therefore Russia cannot be part of the EU), cannot accept EU products that have not been cleared to enter Russia under other trade agreements signed by the EU and Russia.

The reason is that a country that is both a member of the EU and of the Eurasian Customs Union could in effect become a conduit for EU-made products to illegally enter Russia by being re-labelled as products of the country acting as the conduit. It would be too difficult for Russia to monitor products coming through such a conduit; it is much easier to ask that conduit to leave the customs union.

Significantly this condition was one of a number of various fine-print details that were pointed out to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych back in November 2013 and which stayed his hand before he was about the sign the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU.(Another being the infamous part in the AA which compelled Ukraine to change all its standards including its railway gauges to EU-mandated standards.)

We all know what happened next when Yanukovych asked for more time to study the implications of the document he very nearly signed.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 4 2020 9:49 utc | 67

willie @ Oct 4 2020 7:36 utc | 64

Please can somebody explain to me why Armenia did not have an embassy in Israel before this year?

Simple question requires simple answer
Pashinyan

He is another leader of a former Soviet state who is imbecilic enough to believe that kissing Washington's arse will be good for his country.
It wouldn't surprise me if the war goes on much longer if Washington/London/Brussels demand that both combatants allow NATO peacekeepersmilitary units into their countries. Another way to apply pressure to Iran and perhaps allow the USN to place US-flagged gun/missile boats on the Caspian Sea against existing treaties.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Oct 4 2020 10:43 utc | 68

War is a tragedy, the worst plague that can befall humanity. Sometimes it is easy to take sides as if a sports event, especially when war is just a spectacle, a show for the evening news, a computer game. But there is a detail in this conflict that really caught my attention, the president of Artsakh - Nagorno Karabakh and many members of parliament have gone to the frontlines, to put their money where their mouths are, and that I think is truly an example that should be enshrined into law, the politicians that get nations entangled must be the first ones to go to war, I am quite sure peace would reign all over, really quick.

Posted by: Paco | Oct 4 2020 10:47 utc | 69

In reply to comment 63...Russia and Iran seem unable to have prevented Turkish convoys suppying Idlib militants and USA to north east Syria..let alone Turkish stealing Syrian factories equipment and both of these stealing Syrian oil..so it is unlikely that they will block supplies from Turkey and Israel.

Posted by: Jo | Oct 4 2020 11:19 utc | 70

64#65#69# David G,Ghostship,tanks for your answers,but to me they do not explain much.

It is in MSM and alt-media that I read about USA opening embassy in Minsk in March 2020.I suppose opening an embassy requires consent of both countries.

Then in this article we are commenting on,b writes that Armenia called back its ambassador to TelAviv,just two weeks after opening an embassy.

Now I can understand GhostShips take that those countries leaders Lukashenko and Pashinyian wanted to be on cuddling terms with the USA,one for letting an embassy,the other for opening one in TelAviv(why not Jerusalem),but the USA-embassy in Minsk in 1992 must at some time have been closed again,if it opened in March this year,wouldn't it?
Now why was that then?

PS. b,who wrote :"A hundred years ago Turkey, with the second biggest NATO army, had genocided Armenians." that is kind of a strange sentence,because NATO did not exist at the time.

I sense another twist of history resulting from ancient treaties and conventions all discussed between the freemasons,the muslimbrotherhood members,the zionist and vatican politicians who carefully decided to draw borders through the living spaces of nations ,tribes ,and ethnic groups so as to be able to continue to fish in troubled waters even hundred years later.Gibraltar,HongKong,Malta,Chyprus,Leb

Posted by: willie | Oct 4 2020 12:00 utc | 71

Lebanon,Syria,Iraq,Pakistan,India,Mali,Libya,Chad,Niger,Congo,Rwanda,all the guys involved are still in the history books as negotiators and politicians worthy of having their names on street signs,but they are the ones who created the genocide conditions.

Posted by: willie | Oct 4 2020 12:04 utc | 72

@BlueDottrel
I was just going to ignore your comments but...

Your reiterating the allegation that PKK is fighing in Armenia is a current favourite on the Turkish news and while you claim it to be propaganda, you nonetheless use it to negate allegations that Turkey has sent Syrian jihadists to Azerbaijan. Firstly, the theory that PKK/ YPG have travelled from Syria to Iraq, then onto Iran and eventually Armenia is absurd in the extreme and is not being taken seriously by anyone other than Turkish pundits preaching to a captured audience. Whereas the allegations regarding the deployment of Syrian jihadists to Azerbaijan by Turkey are at least several months old and are supported by many different reports including this one in Al-Monitor. And the Lavrov – Cavusoglu statement referred to “the involvement in the conflict of militants and illegal armed groups from other regions” which of course refers to Turkey, but probably also to Syrian militias. It definitely does not refer to PKK! )))

To pick up on a point that @Jen | 24 made: she rightly points out "Self-determination is considered a major principle of international law" and I would add that this is exactly why new Turkish population in Cyprus wants very much to unite the country; it would give the occupying and demographic manipulating party the legitimacy it needs to then legally continue with its expansionist aims. And you try to present this as some kind of 'solution' when it clearly benefits only the occupying force? It is the same tactic that is currently employed in Northern Syria - though only after a significant amount of sectarian and ethnic massacres carried out by Muslim Brotherhood jihadists funded, armed and supported by Turkey!! Or did you think Erdogan was joking when Al Bab was first adorned with Erdogan posters and he stated openly that a referendum should be held? (It might be worth mentioning here that Greece “has a right to regain its territory by force, if necessary” according to your logic. I assume you would support such a move! And we have yet to see whether Syrians will actually attempt it and not wait decades! I certainly hope they do get the oportunity to regain every inch of their nation!)

Quoting Ecevit's plan is directly taken from Beyaz TV, and is a joke. Neither Iran nor Armenia would ever have agreed to such a plan. And this is why it was met with derision it deserved at the time. That it has been resurrected now as a ploy to show the efforts Turkey has made to reach peaceful solutions is testament only to the utter sycophancy that is now Turkish media.

Pepe was quoting "Mr C." and I notice that he mentioned only one side regarding 'cleansing' in what was already a deeply divisive situation omitting the context that you so quickly accuse others of doing. Then you did not hesitate to state that in your opinion “ethnic cleansing is commonplace in war time, and even in peace time” in an obvious attempt to reduce the seriousness of Turkey’s crimes precisely as Turkish media attempts to do. Maybe you should consider in the last 20 years alone the number of people deliberately displaced as a direct result of Turkey’s aggression or support for aggression. You might then rethink the ‘objectivity’ of the political rhetoric you are so blithely promoting here.

And this was without doubt your lowest moment: "Christian world attribute all the massacres and destructions on the Muslims". It needs no comment. It is repugnant and ignorant in the extreme and is again a major theme in Turkey’s propaganda which attempt always to reduce all conflicts to the base criteria of sectarian or ethnically divisive when it is in fact Turkey that pursues such policies as has been evidenced time and again.

Lastly, would you mind putting a figure on the proportion of the Turkish population that is “ethnically Turkic”? You might be surprised. Surely Bilal’s Ethno Sports is not just another example of cultural appropriation? And they are building an entire soap opera industry on this as well! )))

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 4 2020 12:22 utc | 73

Willie @ 64:

Israel has supported Turkey and Azerbaijan in the past. Israel buys (or has bought) several hundred million US dollars' worth of fresh water from Turkey annually. For a country obsessed with laying seniority rights to real estate in Palestine and surrounding areas, Israel sure trashes its resources.

There is also a little issue of whose suffering is greater and deserves to be called a holocaust. No matter that the term with its current meaning of genocidal annihilation was first applied to the Ottoman Turkish government's persecution and killings of Armenians and other Christian groups (Assyrians, Orthodox Greeks) during World War I by the British politician Winston Churchill. It seems that no matter how much other people have suffered, how much pain they have had to endure, for Israel their misfortunes have to pale into nothingness when compared to the Shoah.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 4 2020 12:48 utc | 74

"Firstly, the theory that PKK/ YPG have travelled from Syria to Iraq, then onto Iran and eventually Armenia is absurd in the extreme and is not being taken seriously by anyone other than Turkish pundits preaching to a captured audience."

Atabrit showing off his ignorance again, together with his powerful anti-Turkish bias.

There's a Kurdish community in Armenia, which claims its territory to be part of Kurdistan. Why should the PKK not be there (for years, by the way)? It doesn't involve the tortuous adventure Atabrit describes, nor the ridiculousness he attributes to the suggestion. No idea whether it's true though, I'm not that interested, but it's logical that they would be there.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 4 2020 13:00 utc | 75

@The Delightful Laguerre | 76

Actually its not my theory it is that which is being promoted in Turkey by Turkish propagandists as was my point, and they even showed cute maps on the news to show the path across the different countries. You might want to keep up. ))

Once again you are so desperate to attack me that you completely misfire. But good to see that you continue to read my comments.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 4 2020 13:33 utc | 76

Johnny Conspiranoid @ 66, Jen | Oct 4 2020 9:49 utc | 68

Sorry guys, I did not mean to say Russia is doing something wrong stopping NATO moving east by way of color revolutions in former eastern block countries. But nevertheless, it is a formula that has stopped the NATO’s eastward move. A color revolution changes trajectory of politics favoring west, but only works if it becomes unified, if the division remains and becomes even wider and parts of the country refused to join and be governed by new western inspired government that country becomes non functional and no good to west. Actually, becomes a burden to west. In any case if Russia is helping the resistance to color revolutions formulatively or not, I for one support this formula to stop western attempts at color revolutions.

Posted by: kooshy | Oct 4 2020 14:32 utc | 77

Kosovo, N. Cyprus, Crimea (annexation) and NK independence are all regarded as illegal accoding to international law, as far as, I know. None have had a proper UN sponsored referendum. - Blue D.

Kosovo is recognised by +/- 100 States - Sept. 2020. Ex. Liberia recognised, then retracted. The most recent recognition is Israel, Sept. 4, 2020, see below.

Kosovo participates in quite a lot of International meetings and dealings as Kosovo - equivalent to other states - based on UNSC resolution 1244.

The recent so called Peace-Deal engineered by the Trump administration concerns border, travel, economic relations between Serbia and Kosovo (plus some stipulations as to refugees, bodies, etc.) Kosovo will finally join the mini-Schengen area - free movement of ‘everything’, basically. With: Serbia, Albania, N. Macedonia.

The US imposed some stuff, like 5G only under x conditions (nix Huawei, gentlemen!), to decriminalize homosex (that is for the gallery at home?), and energy matters (more complex, left out for now.)

Signed at the USA WH Sept. 4, it is too early to say what effect it will have. Note, it was 2 separate documents, one for Kosovo, the other for Serbia, and there has been much discussion of the differences, and even if the 2 parties fully understood what they were signing!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Security_Council_Resolution_1244

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_recognition_of_Kosovo

https://exit.al/en/2020/09/04/kosovo-and-serbia-signed-separate-pledges-not-an-agreement/

Kosovo is well on its way to becoming 100% ‘sovereign’ aka ‘full-blown UN member’ or whatever ‘standard’ one wants to apply, contrary to N. Cyprus for ex. which is basically non-existent on the Int’l stage. Crimea other story….

In Europe (in my experience) Kosovo is considered a country and is treated like one - to send a letter, telephone, take a trip, get travel advice, get married, etc. one needs to specify Kosovo. Its official currency is the Euro. (Serbia: Serbian dinar.)

Blue D, this was to elaborate and dig into detail, not to diss.


Posted by: Noirette | Oct 4 2020 14:52 utc | 78

Interesting article on Turkish foreign policy thinking, appears to assume Turkey becomes the new E. Mediterranean ..., well this is the summary at the top:

Turkey’s new expeditionary capability, resting on enhanced naval capacity and new forward bases, is the logical result of Turkey’s post-Cold War strategic reorientation. Moving beyond the Cold War framework, Turkey's strategic goal is to become an interregional power that will set the terms for a new pattern of connectivity between Europe, Africa and Asia. ‘Reclaiming’ a foreign policy prerogative exercised by the Ottoman Empire but discontinued after Turkey’s founding following the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, Turkey's policymakers are seeking to move beyond the Lausanne orientation that informed Turkey’s 1952 NATO accession and persisted throughout the duration of the Cold War. This study examines Ankara's challenge of calibrating the use of its hard power instruments to serve its post-Lausanne strategic orientation toward establishing a Turkey-centered, interregional connectivity.

The Logic Beyond Lausanne: A Geopolitical Perspective on the Congruence between Turkey’s New Hard Power and its Strategic Reorientation

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 4 2020 14:54 utc | 79

@ Jen | Oct 4 2020 9:49 utc | 68.. that was a good overview on how NATO is unhelpful, or helpful as the case may be if europe as it presently stands wants to continue its alliance with the usa - which happens to be on another continent then russia.... it seems nato is used as a battering ram on russia constantly and europe is okay with it... i wonder when, if ever europe has a change of heart on that? thanks for your comment...

@ AtaBrit | Oct 4 2020 12:22 utc | 74.. thanks for your comment... i never said anything about turkish propaganda to bd, but i was thinking about it! propaganda isn't the sole territory of only one side in all of this! as i was trying to say, it is difficult to impossible to get at the truth of the matter..

Posted by: james | Oct 4 2020 16:17 utc | 80

@Bemildred | 80
It is a very interesting article indeed. And it raises so much for discussion. Thanks for posting.

Two points that I'll make, to keep it brief:
1 - as with most western media, Turkey's involvement in Syria prior to 2015 is all but ignored when there were key points when Turkey was infuriated by NATO and the US; Also Russia's involvement in Turkey's 'post 2015' stance has been all but revised out of recent history!

2 - it makes very clear the meaning of 2023 for Erdogan. It is not just the centenary of Lausanne. Erdogan sees it as being the rebirth of the republic, and his own crowing. But he faces mounting challenges domestically and is responding to these in typically authoritarian manner, and externally where we see Turkey's plans meeting significant and effective resistance.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 4 2020 16:33 utc | 81

willie | Oct 4 2020 12:00 utc | 72

the USA-embassy in Minsk in 1992 must at some time have been closed again,if it opened in March this year,wouldn't it? Now why was that then?

from Radio Free Europe

Belarus recalled its ambassador from Washington in 2008 and insisted that the U.S. ambassador must leave Minsk.

That move came after the U.S. imposed sanctions against Belarusian oil giant Belneftekhim following tensions between Minsk and the West.

Posted by: dan of steele | Oct 4 2020 16:53 utc | 82

Hopehely @41
Karadağ / Karadagh = Black Mountain
Karabağ / Karabagh = Black Garden/Vineyard
The "kh" for "gh" due to absence of separate Russian phoneme for the "ghayn" sound.

Posted by: Piero Colombo | Oct 4 2020 16:53 utc | 83

Azerbaijan has since brought up more heavy artillery but it seems to primarily use it to hit towns and cities, not the front lines where it would be more useful.


Video from #Stepanakert shows the moment when cluster ammunition is hitting the city centre..Scary footage!

Stepanakert is the capital of Nagorno Karabakh and not at the frontlines. The Azerbaijani attack on a city that has no immediate military value with cluster ammunition is clearly a war crime.

The Armenians make better use of their artillery.

The video below shows why Azerbaijan is unable to move the frontlines. Nagarno Karbakh is mountainous. The Armenians, as a persecuted minority, prefer like other minorities (Hazara, Kurds) to live in defensible mountains.

The Azerbaijanis must fight uphill on winding small roads. The Armenians can see them coming and have their artillery preregistered on the relevant bottlenecks.
So this happens again and again: The Azerbaijanis send 100 soldiers on foot along the road and a relative tight formation. They get slaughtered with probably 50% casualties.
(If Azerbaijan had send tanks the result would have been similar.)

Killbox 😱😨. "If your attack is going well then it is an ambush" Sarg Murphy - Azeri column forced to retreat under Armenian heavy artillery fire. #NagornoKarabakh pic.twitter.com/DG8czLSeRr

Posted by: b | Oct 4 2020 16:58 utc | 84

@b | 85

Turkish media is showing celebrations (restrained car honking) in Baku supposedly in support of the Azerbaijani military having captured 8 villages and raised their flag.
There is no detail as to where the villages are or what their names are.
Do you have any information on this?

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 4 2020 17:44 utc | 85

"Body of Muhammad Khaled a-Shahna arrived from Azerbaijan to Turkey. He is one of 55 TFSA corpses of Syrians killed in Nagorno Karabagh"

I'm guessing it will become more and more difficult to hide the presence of Syrian militias in Azerbaijan. After all, Turkey has form.

Wonder when we'll start to see the PKK/YPG bodies ... we won't, of course.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 4 2020 18:25 utc | 86

https://armenpress.am/eng/news/1030322.html
The Armenian news agency claims attacks have been beaten off.

Posted by: Waldorf | Oct 4 2020 18:47 utc | 87

News sources close to the PKK deny sending anyone to fight in Karabakh and I tend to think Turkish media make this stuff up.

Posted by: Waldorf | Oct 4 2020 18:48 utc | 88

Good intel here:

https://twitter.com/auroraintel/status/1312774432239296514?s=21

Posted by: Lozion | Oct 4 2020 18:53 utc | 89

Stepanakert, where a lot of people had already been evacuated, is now being completely evacuated.

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Oct 4 2020 19:04 utc | 90

According to specially displaced to Artsakh, Basque journalist Pablo Gonzalez, they have been shelled by heavy artillery systems and long range rockets Smerch or LORA type in Stepanakert...

https://twitter.com/PabVis/status/1312627089787572224

https://twitter.com/PabVis/status/1312623491225616385

At least 51 people, mainly civilians have died, a view of some of the damage...

https://twitter.com/PabVis/status/1312302501832654848

It seems that the attack on Stepanakert could have come as response to the attack of air base in Ganja in Azerbaijan, where the Turkish F-16 were/are placed...

https://twitter.com/PabVis/status/1312675896365666304

Then, Armenia responds to Stepanakert shelling by attacking second Azeri city...

Here the cronicle from terrain...

https://www.naiz.eus/eu/actualidad/noticia/20201004/los-armenios-responden-al-bombardeo-contra-stepanekert-atacando-a-la-segunda-ciudad-azeri

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Oct 4 2020 19:42 utc | 91

Video on re-conquest of Mataghis by Armenian units, previously taken by Azerbaijan...

https://twitter.com/Political_Room/status/1312807157369319424

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Oct 4 2020 20:01 utc | 92

Posted by: AtaBrit | Oct 4 2020 16:33 utc | 82

"@Bemildred | 80
It is a very interesting article indeed. And it raises so much for discussion. Thanks for posting."

It was posted by B in the open thread, but I thought it very relevant to the war here.

You make excellent points. I have commented more than once on Uncle Sugar's long history of pissing Erdogan off. I don't like Erdogan, but as a nominal ally some respect for ones concerns is expected.

The article provides a lot more insight into what Erdogan thinks he is doing lately. I can't say I like his chances either, I think he's over-reaching, has been for some time now. There are likely to be quite a few parties who don't want to have to go through Erdogan to do their business with someone else. Some bigger than he is.

It fleshes out the notion Jen advanced of connecting up with Azerbaijan & Turkistan to form a new, better Ottoman Empire there right in the way of everybodies plans for trade routes.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 4 2020 20:01 utc | 93

The Time of Troubles in Transcaucasia — Part 3
OCTOBER 4, 2020 BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR
"Caucasian chalk circle

The United States and Russia are increasingly in each other’s crosshairs on the global stage, be it in the Arctic, the Black Sea or the Middle East. But they have joined hands with alacrity to take a common stance on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It is patently loaded against Turkey. " see the link for the rest of the article... check part 1 and 2 if interested up above as b had linked to the first 2 of them...

Posted by: james | Oct 4 2020 20:28 utc | 94

Some other sources are telling both sides are using BM-30 Smerch rockets, which, for what it seems, lack precision and thus are landing into civilian houses, balconies, and so on...

https://twitter.com/DragonLadyU2/status/1312725334136152064

At the moment both Armenians and Azeris are using Smerch 300mm rocket systems to allegedly strike military / strategic targets near urban centers. Given their precision, many rockets are hitting residential buildings.


https://twitter.com/DragonLadyU2/status/1312723008495267840

https://twitter.com/RebeccaRambar/status/1312713724243959811

https://twitter.com/Archer83Able/status/1312762034807865345

Aftermath in Ganja city...

https://twitter.com/aldin_ww/status/1312661407394127872


Posted by: H.Schmatz | Oct 4 2020 20:39 utc | 95

Aftermath in Stepanakert...

https://twitter.com/gbazov/status/1312838111043432448

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Oct 4 2020 21:38 utc | 96

Clearly there is quite alot going on behond the scenes, involving many nations. I'm skipping over the "legitimacy debate" because it should be quite clear that reality is whatever you can get away with. Expressing outrage without being able to back it up is impotent. Things seem to be escalating: cluster munitions, larger missiles etc. The Azeri-Turk UAVs seem to be a problem for the Armenians. Since modern warfare is heavilly swayed by countermeasures, it's worth considering what might work in this case.
From a defensive position, detection would be the first order of business. Hidden and camoflaged radar would be helpful as would placing smaller arrays along the foothills facing the border. Small mobile units equipped with Strela and Igla MANPADS operating in conjunction with detection arrays could put a dent in the UAV population. The way things are going the Armenians might want to lob a Tochka or two at the Azeri air bases just to throw a wrench in their game.

Posted by: Chevrus | Oct 4 2020 22:26 utc | 97

Turkish media is showing celebrations (restrained car honking) in Baku supposedly in support of the Azerbaijani military having captured 8 villages and raised their flag.
There is no detail as to where the villages are or what their names are.
Do you have any information on this?

A bunch of empty villages at the southern border with Iran from which Azerbaijanis were evacuated 30 years ago.

The only inhabited one the Azerbaijanis caught, Mataghis, is apparently back in Armenian hands.

Posted by: b | Oct 5 2020 7:22 utc | 98

83#
Thank you steely dan!Did not know about Bush sanctioning Minsk in 2008.
I guess Belarus Foreign Minister Makey has learned his lesson about american trustworthiness by now.

Answers raise new questions.The Radio Free Europe article did not specify the"tensions between Belarus and the West" What could that have been about?Don't answer dan,I will have to look it up myself for once...

Posted by: willie | Oct 5 2020 11:05 utc | 99

The Azeris did have intense artillery going, including TOS-1 Solntsepyok thermobaric bombardment. All of these TOS-1 systems now seem to have been destroyed by the Armenians.

Posted by: Думбо Трамп | Oct 5 2020 13:16 utc | 100

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