Over the past few weeks, fighting has occurred between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The conflict has caused a number of casualties, both military and civilian. Read on to learn more.
What is the cause of the conflict?
The conflict began as over the dispute for the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Local ethnic forces of Armenia had been in control of the region when fighting broke out on September 27th.
A spokesperson for the Armenian Defense Ministry stated that they shot down three planes on Saturday, though this was later refuted by the Azerbaijan Defense Ministry. The Azerbaijan Defense Ministry also asserted that Armenian military had fired shells into civilian territories.
History of the region
Nagorno-Karabakh was a designated an autonomous region during the Soviet era. The region claimed independence from Azerbaijan in 1991, less than 6 months prior to the fall of the Soviet Union. A subsequent war was started in 1992, and resulted in the deaths of around 30,000 people.
The war ended in 1994, and Armenian forces had occupied the region, as well as a number of territories surrounding Negorno-Karabakh. A number of resolutions from the United Nations Security Council called for Armenia to withdrawal forces from the territories, all of which were ignored.
The current president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, has said that the conflict will continue until Armenia completely withdraws armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas.
Armenia has claimed that Turkey is supporting Azerbaijan with the Turkish military. AP News reported that Turkey has “vowed to support longtime ally Azerbaijan ‘on the battlefield or the negotiating table,’ if needed.” However, Turkey has denied claims that they are sending Syrian fighters and F-16 combat jets to the region. **Note, WAA is not confirming nor denying this claim**