After they’ve been successful in purging the land of Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenians, both Azerbaijan and its main sponsor Turkey are ready for new endeavors. When the ceasefire was signed by Armenian, Azerbaijan, and Russian key figures, it was no secret that Turkey also had a major role in the 2020 armed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
More accurately, Turkey was the one to supply Azerbaijan with everything from the latest artillery and warring technology, to the Syrian mercenaries trained to maim, murder, torture, and decapitate every Armenian, both civilian and military, that crosses their path. With the ceasefire, the war crimes season was over for Azerbaijan, but also Turkey.
Agile Sprit 2021 in Georgia
A multinational exercise will be held in Georgia between July 26 and August 6. The exercise will bring over 15 NATO allied and partner countries to Georgia including Turkey and Azerbaijan. It will feature exercises in the simulated command posts, field training, battalion-level combined arms live-fire exercises, and many more.
Armenia, however, decided not to participate. The reason is that Armenia is still battling with the consequences of the 2020 war with Azerbaijan. They can send no staff or funds to send their soldiers to this NATO-organized exercise.
Azerbaijan unfortunately can. Furthermore, it seemed that Azerbaijan is arming itself more intensely than even before the conflict arose last fall. This all made the Armenian government concerned about Azerbaijan’s plans especially when on May 12th Azerbaijani army crossed the border in the Syunik region and occupied Lake Sev.
To this day, the Azerbiani failed to retreat despite many warnings from the international community and negotiations with the Russian peacekeepers.
Aliyev Claims The Land For Azerbaijan….Again
Aliyev had multiple statements regarding the border breach, but the latest was the one that made many doubt his mental capacities. He stated that Armenia is accusing him of making territorial claims, but at the same time, he was not denying it.
The week before, when Azerbaijan went through economic zones reorganization, one region was named East Zangezur (Syunik). Which would further imply there was a West Zangezur except that’s where Armenia’s territory is. Soon enough, Aliyev came rushing out with the Azerbaijani flag, ready to stick it wherever he pleased, stating that ”West Zangezur is our historical land”.
He did however make threats at the end of his speech:
“The Soviet government tore Zangezur apart from Azerbaijan and handed it over to Armenia. It is relatively recent history – 101 years ago. So why should we say that this didn’t happen? Why? We are telling the truth.
It is the land of our ancestors: the whole of Zangezur – East and West Zangezur. In Armenia, they now say that Ilham Aliyev is making territorial claims. If there is East Zangezur, then there is also West Zangezur. Yes, West Zangezur is our ancestral land. I said that we have to return there,” he said. “We will and we are already returning there. No one can stop us.”
According to experts, Aliyev’s claim of historical lands left and right across Armenia is not accidental. It is in fact a bargaining tactic. Aliyev has been trying to push Armenian toward creating a formal peace agreement, but so far Armenia is not responding the way he hoped it would. Armenia is simply not buying into any of Azerbaijan’s provocations, but that doesn’t mean that Aliyev’s words don’t have consequences.
There Is No Peace with Aliyev
The rhetorical barrage coming out of Aliyev’s mouths may sound ridiculous to the experts, but they are able to disturb the common people. Following his statement that “Just as in the past, had they voluntarily vacated our lands, they would not have been humiliated like that. Our proposal is the proposal of the winning country, the proposal of the powerful side, the offer of the victorious people.
If there is an adverse reaction to this in Armenia, it is up to them. But again, they will regret it.” an incident happened on the border of Nakhchivan. Armenian soldier was killed in an exchange of fire on July 14.
So far, Aliyev’s strategy of coercion has not been successful. The Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated that Azerbaijan’s strategy is ”predictable” and Aliyev is aiming at “creating fake grounds for building an aggressive policy, which we have seen in recent days.”
This is where Pashinyan may be correct if we go back to the famous ”not territorial demand” from April 13. Aliyev then stated that he is not making any territorial demands towards Armenia but in the same breath he claimed that ”Yerevan, Lake Sevan, and The Syunik Province were Azeri territories.” According to the historian and an expert on Turkish studies, Ruben Melkonyan, such statements require a psychiatric evaluation.
“We must understand that Azerbaijan’s real policy is the encroachment against various territories of Armenia. The other part of the statement is the issue of other specialists, namely the evaluation of psychiatrists, as to how can [Aliyev] state his aspirations towards Yerevan, Sevan, Syunik and at the same time say that he doesn’t have territorial demands against Armenia,”