Make no mistake: Armenia is facing a real existential threat. The 44-day war has not ended yet. At best, a tenuous ceasefire is in place, as defined by the November 8 tripartite declaration.
Presidents Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan have never minced words. The first one invoked Enver Pasha’s unfinished plan for the Caucasus during the victory parade in Baku on December 10, 2020, and the latter expressed his intention to force Armenia to build a land corridor through the “historic Azerbaijani land of Zangezur.”
All current military operations and the ensuing crisis are the prelude to achieve those objectives.
Historically, when we explore the background of such military adventures, we discover that they take place in conjunction with other global crises, either in the same region or somewhere around the globe. And indeed, when political attention is focused on the flare-up between Hamas and the Israeli forces in Gaza and the forthcoming tumultuous presidential elections in neighboring Iran, the time seems most opportune for the Turkey-Azerbaijan tandem to make a mischievous move, under Moscow’s benevolent watch.
President Aliyev, who inherited Azerbaijan from his late father, Heydar Aliyev, was a novice in foreign policy and state affairs at the start of his reign, but gradually, the Azerbaijani government wised up and began to make the most cunning diplomatic moves in the region as well as on the global scene. That development was the direct consequence of the takeover by Turkey of Azerbaijan’s state affairs.
The current tension created on Armenia’s borders by the incursion of 250 Azerbaijan soldiers 3.5 kilometers into the sovereign territory of Armenia is a calculated risk, most probably designed by Erdogan’s administration and implemented by the Aliyev government. By exploiting the configuration of military and political force in the region, the Ankara-Baku tandem has found out that Armenia’s strategic ally, Russia, is in a stalemate with the Turkish forces in the Caucasus and not in a position to meet its treaty obligations to Armenia. Therefore Russia has allowed the opportunity to Baku to make its historic move to occupy part of the Syunik region in Armenia.