Genocide Watch warns of possible new war between Armenia and Azerbaijan this year
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – The US-based Genocide Watch organization has warned that just two years after their war over Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia and Azerbaijan appear to be heading toward a new round of fighting. In a report published on January 1, Genocide Watch placed Armenia and Azerbaijan on a list of 10 conflicts to watch in 2023.
More than seven thousand soldiers lost their lives in the six weeks of fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020, GW said. Russia brokered a ceasefire after Azerbaijani troops forced Armenian troops out of the parts of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas they had held since the early 1990s.
Since the 2020 ceasefire and since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Azerbaijan has gained further power. “The Armenian army has not replenished its troops or weapons, as Russia, its traditional arms broker, is short on supplies,” GW said. “Azerbaijan, by contrast, has been ramping up. Its army outmatches Armenia’s several times over, is far better equipped, and is backed by Turkey. Heightened European demand for Azerbaijani gas has also emboldened Baku.”
Russia has been distracted by Ukraine and could not suppress several “flare-ups” last year or mediate further peace talks: Moscow has also refused to engage with efforts by the West to help facilitate peace talks. Stalled peace talks have left an opening for Azerbaijan to mobilize: “Azerbaijani troops in March and August captured more territory in Nagorno-Karabakh, including strategic mountain positions,” GW said.
“In September, Azerbaijani forces seized territory inside Armenia proper. Each bout of attacks was progressively bloodier. The danger is that the talks go nowhere or another flare-up sinks both the Moscow-led and West-backed tracks, and Azerbaijan takes what it can by force,” GW warned.
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