Since September 27, 2020, Azerbaijan, backed by Turkey, has been attacking Nagorno-Karabakh. As scholars of Armenian descent, we strongly condemn Azerbaijan’s military attacks. The aggression is marked by Azerbaijan’s complete disregard for international humanitarian law and the norms of armed conflict. Cities, villages, and civilian infrastructures have been shelled and destroyed. Azerbaijan is actively targeting the civilian population, as recently demonstrated by the attacks on Stepanakert, Hadrut, and other cities, towns, and villages of Nagorno-Karabakh. Numerous Armenian civilians have been killed, including elderly and children. Azerbaijan is supplementing its military with Syrian mercenaries, recruited and backed by Turkey. The war is also finding its manifestation directly in the Republic of Armenia, with Azerbaijan bombing the Armenian town of Vardenis.
Azerbaijan’s military aggression toward Armenians and the involvement of Turkey, as well as mercenaries from Syria, pose a direct existential threat to Armenians. With the full potential to quickly escalate into a major war in the South Caucasus region, draw in other neighboring countries, and cause vast humanitarian damage, Azerbaijan’s military aggression has to stop immediately. This war takes place a few short months after another military aggression on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, as part of which Azerbaijan threatened to bomb the Armenian nuclear power plant.
We urge that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemn Turkey-backed Azerbaijan’s atrocities against Armenians that started on September 27, that he call upon Turkey to exclude itself from the conflict, and that he take actionable steps to help stop Azerbaijan’s military operations against Armenians.
October 8, 2020
Gregory Aftandilian; Lecturer; Middle East Affairs; Boston University Victor Agadjanian; Professor; Sociology; UCLA
Sos Agaian; Distinguished Professor; Computer Science Department; CSI and Graduate Center of CUNY