Azerbaijani Successes In Karbakh Conflict Come Together With War Crimes

South Front

The Azerbaijani Armed Forces have been developing their advance on Armenian positions in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region. As in the previous several days, the main clashes are taking place in the southern part of Karabakh.

As of October 16, Azerbaijani forces finally took full control of the town of Hadrat and started an operation to push the remaining Armenian units out of the town’s surroundings. Despite this, Armenian forces still conduct regular counter-attacks attempting to force the Azerbaijani military to retreat from their recently captured positions.

Azerbaijani troops also seized the villages of Arish in the Fuzuli district, Doshulu in the Jabrayil district and the villages of Edishe, Dudukchi, Edilli and Chiraguz in the Khojavend district. Earlier this week, Azerbaijan captured Garadaghli, Melikjanli, Garakollu, Bulutan, Tagaser, Khatunbulag, Kemertuk and Teke. Thus, Armenian forces lost at least 15 towns and settlements during this week of clashes.

The Azerbaijani side employs its advantage in artillery and air power. Azerbaijani special forces also conducted several raids in the rear of Armenian positions in the south of Karabakh trying to create chaos there.

The town of Fuzuli, which for the previous days remained in the contested area, is now about to fall in the full control of Azerbaijan. If Armenian forces are not able to gain back the initiative, this will become the inevitable.

Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan announced that the Armenians tried to recapture several positions taken by Azerbaijani forces, but these attacks were repelled. According to Baku, a large number of Armenian forces, including two T-72 battle tanks, a Tor-M2KM surface-to-air missile system, four BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launchers, a D-20 howitzer, a D-30 howitzer, and two D-1 howitzers, as well as several vehicles and UAVs were eliminated.

On the morning of October 15, videos filmed in the area of Hadrut appeared online showing how Azerbaijani troops had captured two Armenian fighters, one of them was an old man (he does not even seem to be able to hold arms), then tied them with Armenian flags and had them killed. A few hours after, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry released a statement claiming that Armenians share in social media some ‘fake videos’ that are ‘not related’ to the Karabakh conflict.

Earlier, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and top Turkish officials repeatedly claimed that the Azerbaijani advance on Nagorno-Karabakh poses no threat to the Armenian population there. Nonetheless, actions like on the aforementioned videos as well as almost no reports about captured Armenian soldiers demonstrate that in fact the conflict creates a real threat of ethnic cleansing of the Armenian population in Karabakh the areas captured by Azerbaijan. In its own turn, the Armenian Defense Ministry claims that despite some ‘tactical retreats’, its forces have been successfully repelling Azerbaijani attacks.

This just week only, the Armenian side claimed that its forces had shot down 3 SU-25 warplanes and multiple UAVs of Azerbaijan. Dozens of Azerbaijani armoured vehicles and hundreds of troops were also allegedly eliminated. Nonetheless, photo and video evidence from the ground demonstrates that in fact Armenian forces are on retreat and are now trying to regroup and prevent further advances of Azerbaijan into the contested region.

Taking into account the current complex diplomatic situation in the region, the Azerbaijani military has all chances to continue its active offensive operations until the start of winter. After this, Baku will likely temporarily halt the military phase of its push to capture Karabakh and return to the negotiating table to force Armenia to surrender the region. If this does not happen, the Azerbaijani advance will likely be resumed in the spring of 2021.

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تركيا «وحيدةً» في حرب قره باغ

الأخبار

السبت 17 تشرين الأول 2020

تركيا «وحيدةً» في حرب قره باغ

توازياً مع استمرار المعارك بين أرمينيا وأذربيجان، بعد فشل الهدنة في وضع حدٍّ للاقتتال الدائر حول إقليم ناغورنو قره باغ الانفصالي، تبدو تركيا ميّالة إلى التصعيد ضدّ روسيا. وإن كانت الأخيرة لا تزال، منذ انطلاق جولة الاقتتال هذه، تحافظ على مسافة أمان مِن طرفَي الأزمة، فهيَ دشّنت، يوم أمس، مناورات عسكرية في بحر قزوين شمال باكو، تصرّ على أنها ليست موجّهة ضدّ أيّ طرفمنذ انطلاق جولة الاقتتال الأخيرة بين أرمينيا وأذربيجان في السابع والعشرين من الشهر الماضي، سعّرت أنقرة، باصطفافها إلى جانب باكو، الحرب الدائرة بين الجارتَين للسيطرة على إقليم ناغورنو قره باغ، في ظلّ مواقف دولية جديدة بدأت تتكشّف، وتشير إلى تصعيد تركي – روسي متضادّ، لاقته الولايات المتحدة على الطرف الآخر، حين انتقدت دور حليفتها الأطلسية في هذا الصراع، آملةً أن تتمكّن أرمينيا من «الدفاع عن نفسها» في وجه جارتها الأذربيجانية.

ومع استمرار المعارك بين القوات الأرمينية والأذربيجانية، بعد أسبوع مِن توقيع وزيرَي خارجية البلدين اتفاق هدنة برعايةٍ روسية، عَدّته الأخيرة مقدّمة لإطلاق محادثات «سلام» ترغب تركيا في أن تمثِّل «حلّاً نهائياً» لهذا الملفّ المتفجّر. غير أن المصالح المتضاربة حالت دون تطبيق بند وقف إطلاق النار، ما دفع روسيا إلى بدء تدريبات عسكرية في بحر قزوين، تصرّ على أنها ليست موجّهة ضدّ أيٍّ من دول الجوار. وتَجري المناورات العسكرية شمال شبه جزيرة أبشرون الأذربيجانية حيث تقع باكو، وتشمل إطلاق صواريخ ونيران مدفعية، ومشاركة ستّ سفن وسبع طائرات وأكثر من 400 جندي، بحسب بيان لوزارة الدفاع الروسية، أكد أن «الأنشطة… لا تشكل أيّ تهديد ولا تفرض قيوداً على الأنشطة الاقتصادية للدول المطلّة على قزوين».

إعلانٌ ما لبث أن ردّ عليه الرئيس التركي، رجب طيب إردوغان، إذ سعى إلى شرح موقفه «المبدئي» من الصراع حول قره باغ، بالقول إن بلاده لم ولن تعترف بضمّ روسيا غير المشروع لشبه جزيرة القرم الأوكرانية إلى أراضيها، مؤكداً في مؤتمر صحافي مشترك عقده، أمس، مع نظيره الأوكراني فولوديمير زيلينسكي، في إسطنبول، أن بلاده تعتبر أوكرانيا دولة محوريّة لضمان الاستقرار والأمن والسلام والازدهار في المنطقة. كذلك، أكد إردوغان أن أنقرة ستواصل دعم سيادة أوكرانيا ووحدة أراضيها، بما فيها القرم.

يبدو أن واشنطن بدأت تصطفّ بوضوح إلى جانب يريفان


في هذا الوقت، يبدو أن واشنطن التي شدّدت، منذ انطلاق المعارك، على ضرورة إيجاد «حلّ دبلوماسي» يجنّب أرمينيا وأذربيجان حرباً طاحنة، بدأت تصطفّ إلى جانب يريفان. ذلك ما بيّنته تصريحات وزير الخارجية الأميركي، مايك بومبيو، الذي أعرب عن أمله في أن تتمكّن أرمينيا من «الدفاع عن نفسها» في وجه أذربيجان، في ما بدا أنه مساندة لأحد قطبَي النزاع الدائر في منطقة ناغورنو قره باغ. وقال بومبيو في حديث إلى إذاعة محلية في ولاية جورجيا الأميركية: «نأمل أن يتمكّن الأرمينيّون من أن يدافعوا عن أنفسهم في وجه ما يقوم به الأذربيجانيون»، مجدّداً الدعوة إلى احترام وقف إطلاق النار و«المباحثات السلمية» لوضع حدّ للصراع. تصريحاتٌ جاءت بعدما أعرب الدبلوماسي الأميركي عن أسفه إزاء شروع تركيا في «دعم أذربيجان»، ودعا الأفرقاء الدوليين إلى عدم التدخل في المنطقة وتجنّب «تأجيج الاضطرابات» في «برميل بارود». وهو ما تساوق أيضاً مع إعلان وزارة الخارجية الأميركية أن الولايات المتحدة عبّرت لمستويات رفيعة في الحكومة التركية عن عدم قبولها حيازة أنقرة أنظمة أسلحة روسية مثل «إس-400»، وحذّرت من «عواقب وخيمة محتملة» لعلاقتها الأمنية مع تركيا في حال إقدامها على تفعيل النظام المذكور. وقالت الناطقة باسم الوزارة، مورغان أورتاغوس، في بيان: «إذا تأكَّد ذلك… سندين بأشدّ العبارات اختبار إطلاق صاروخ من منظومة إس-400 باعتباره لا يتّسق مع مسؤوليات تركيا كعضو في حلف شمال الأطلسي وكشريك استراتيجي للولايات المتحدة».

War In Karabakh: Turkish Proxies Are Allegedly Too Scared To Fight Armenians

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October 15, 2020

About 1,000 members of Syrian militant groups deployed by Turkey to support the Azerbaijani advance in the Nagorno-Karabakh region have laid down their arms and refused to participate in hostilities, Armenian media outlets and military-affiliated sources claimed. They insist that Syrian militants were just used as cannon fodder and did not receive their promised money. According to sources loyal to the Syrian opposition, the number of Turkish proxies that died in the war with Armenia has exceeded 110.

Earlier, reports appeared from Syrian sources, claiming that about 400 members of Turkish-backed militant groups deployed in Syria’s northwest had refused to go to Azerbaijan. At least 16 of them were arrested by the so-called Hamza Division for complaining too much and for leaking information to the public.

Meanwhile, the Armenian Defense Ministry released an updated claim on alleged Azerbaijani casualties since the start of the war on September 27. According to this, Azerbaijani forces have lost 5,489 personnel, 541 armoured vehicles, 4 TOS multiple rocket launchers, 19 military planes, 16 helicopters and 176 UAVs. During the last few days, the Armenian military specified, Azerbaijan has lost 3 UAVs, 20 armored vehicles, a plane and has suffered 350 casualties.

Nonetheless, the aforementioned claims did not allow the Armenian military to regain the initiative from the advancing Azerbaijani forces and even the country’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, in his recent national address, admitted that the situation on the frontline is complicated and that the Armenians had retreated from positions in the south and north.

“For 18 days of the war, our heroic troops retreated to the south and north,” Pashinyan said. According to him, Azerbaijani troops also changed their tactics “trying to create confusion in the rear with sabotage groups.” Pashinyan also claimed that “A number of countries with the possibility of strategic deterrence did not properly assess the danger, continuing to consider the issue in the context of the Karabakh conflict and believing that territories in exchange for peace is a solution that can save the situation.”

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that in 2018, Azerbaijan had in the course of negotiations demanded that Armenia give up the seven regions of Nagorno-Karabakh in exchange for peace. According to him, Baku refused to consider the issue of the status of Nagorno-Karabakh as not being part of Azerbaijan.

“In the negotiation process, Azerbaijan has reached the point when it has put a demand for the Armenian people to give up their rights, return five of the seven regions, present specific deadlines for the surrender of the remaining two regions, any status of Nagorno-Karabakh must be determined within Azerbaijan. In addition, the clarification of the status should not have been linked to the process of handing over the territories. The territories were to be surrendered in exchange for peace,” Pashinyan said.

In their turn, the Azerbaijani side remains determined that all of the contested region should be immediately returned to its control and the Armenian Republic of Arstakh there dismantled de-facto employing a military option to achieve this goal.

As of October 15, the Azerbaijani military continued delivering intense artillery and air strikes on Armenian positions across the entire contact line and advancing in the areas of Hadrat and Fuzuli. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev announced that his forces had captured the villages of Garadaghli, Khatunbulag, Garakollu in the Fuzuli district, and Bulutan, Melikjanli, Kemertuk, Teke and Tagaser in the Khojavend district.

Azerbaijani forces have also been trying to fully isolate the town of Hadrut in order to finally turn into reality their earlier claim that it’s under their full control. They also tried to advance on the town of Fuzuli and even reached it, but the attack was repelled by the Armenians. On the other hand, Baku regularly accuses Armenia of ceasefire violations and claims that all its actions are just a response to Armenian aggression.

The humanitarian ceasefire reached by the sides earlier in October helped to stop offensive operations only on distinct parts of the frontline and the war is raging at almost full force in the northern part of Karabakh.

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War in Nagorno-Karabakh Is a Gamechanger in Russian-Turkish Relations

By Paul Antonopoulos

Global Research, October 17, 2020

After Turkey downed a Russian jet operating in Syria in late 2015, there was a major risk that the Syrian War could explode into a greater conflict between the two Eurasian countries. The Turkish attack resulted in the death of two Russian servicemen and relations between Moscow and Ankara were again tested in December 2016 when Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, was assassinated by off-duty police officer Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş. Although Russian President Vladimir Putin accepted the explanation from his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that the assassination was not ordered by the state, Nordic Monitor has published compelling evidence that Altıntaş had strong connections to the so-called Turkish deep state. Despite these major setbacks in Russian-Turkish relations, by the end of 2017 the two countries signed a $2.5 billion agreement for Turkey to acquire the Russian-made S-400 air defence system, considered the most sophisticated of its kind in the world.

As is well-known, this deal resulted in tense relations between Turkey and its NATO allies, and many speculated that with Russian encouragement Ankara would eventually leave the Atlantic Alliance. It is highly unlikely that Turkey will ever leave NATO willingly or be ejected from the organization. Turkey, as a key country connecting East and West and controlling Straits linking the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, knows that it is one of the most important geostrategic countries in the world and can afford to leverage both NATO and Russia to advance its own ambitions.

The Russian-Turkish partnership has seen Ankara acquire the S-400 system, Russia has a critical part in the construction of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, and cooperation on significantly reducing conflict in Syria. However, it now appears that Moscow is becoming increasingly frustrated and antagonized by Ankara’s constant escalation of hostilities across Russia’s southern flank and/or areas of interest. Despite Russia and Turkey cooperating in Syria, they support opposing sides in Libya, but this is not considered a major issue between them, or at least not enough to change the course of their bilateral relations. However, the war in Artsakh, or more commonly known as Nagorno-Karabakh, has exposed the fragility of relations between Moscow and Ankara.

Artsakh, despite being an integral part of the Armenian homeland for over 2,500 years and always maintaining an overwhelmingly Armenian majority population, was assigned to the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic in the early 1920’s. However, in 1989 Armenians in Artsakh demanded unification with the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. This demand was ultimately rejected by Moscow. However, the final collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992 sparked a war in Artsakh. The Armenians achieved a decisive victory in 1994 and the Republic of Artsakh emerged, although it is still internationally recognized as a part of Azerbaijan.Turkey and Syria Are at War Without a Declaration of War

The OSCE Minsk Group, comprising of France, Russia and the U.S., is the foremost international body attempting to end the decades-long conflict between the de facto independent Republic of Artsakh and Azerbaijan. Although minor wars and skirmishes have been commonplace since 1994, the current war is the most serious escalation, especially when considering the internationalization of the conflict because of Turkey’s transfer of special forces, military advisers, and more importantly, Syrian jihadist mercenaries.

Many within the Syrian government and military have expressed frustration that Russia effectively prevented a Syrian Army offensive at the beginning of the year to liberate more areas of Idlib from Turkish-backed jihadist rule. It is likely that Moscow’s push for a ceasefire in Idlib was to appease Turkey in the hope that it would slowly de-escalate and eventually withdraw from Syria. However, Erdoğan used the lull in the fighting in Idlib to transfer Syrian jihadist mercenaries to fight in Libya. These militants fight on the side of the Muslim Brotherhood Government of National Accords based in Tripoli. They are in opposition to the Libyan National Army, which is based in Tobruk and has ties to Russia.

The transfer of Syrian militants to Libya certainly concerned Moscow, but Libya is not as geopolitically crucial for Russia. However, the transfer of Syrian militants to Azerbaijan brings various terrorists and mujahideen forces right to the very doorstep of Russia in the South Caucasus. Whereas Syrian militants in Idlib and Libya were no real threat to Russia directly, bringing such forces can now easily put them in direct contact with Islamist terrorists based in Dagestan, Chechnya and Ingushetia in Russia’s Caucasus region.

This will likely be a gamechanger in Russian-Turkish relations.

Moscow’s reaction to Turkey transferring Syrian terrorists to Azerbaijan is beginning to reveal itself. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that Moscow “has never considered Turkey as a strategic ally” and emphasized that Russian military observers should be placed on the line of contact between Artsakh and Azerbaijan. Although Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev repeatedly calls for Turkey to be involved in the Minsk Group or in negotiations, Russia has continually blocked Ankara from being involved in any negotiations.

Russia’s frustration with Turkey can even be felt in the East Mediterranean now. As recently as September 5, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova angered many Greeks when she urged states to be “guided by common sense and take into consideration the geographical peculiarities of a region” when discussing Turkey’s illegal claims against Greece in the East Mediterranean. Zakharova effectively adopted Turkey’s arguments that if Athens enacts its international legal right to extend its territorial waters from six nautical miles to 12, then the Aegean will effectively become a “Greek lake,” and therefore the Turks believe “common sense” has to prevail over this “geographical peculiarity.”

However, only yesterday, it appeared that Moscow now indirectly supports Greece’s position in the East Mediterranean, with the Russian Embassy in Athens tweeting that “Russia’s position as a permanent member of the UN Security Council is the starting point. We consider the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea the ‘cornerstone’ of international maritime agreements. The Convention explicitly provides for the sovereign right of all States to have territorial waters up to 12 nautical miles and sets out the principles and methods for delimiting the [Exclusive Economic Zone]. This also applies to the Mediterranean.”

It was also announced yesterday that Lavrov will be making a working visit to Greece on October 28. Russia’s repositioning on the East Mediterranean issue by firmly supporting a states’ right to extend its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles as permitted by international law, something that Turkey has said would be a “reason for war” if Greece enacts its legal right, is likely part of its retaliation against Erdoğan’s transfer of Syrian terrorists to the doorstep of Dagestan. Although Moscow tolerated Erdoğan’s aggression in Syria, Iraq and Libya, by threatening war on Armenia, a Collective Security Treaty Organization member state, and transferring militants to the border of Dagestan, Turkey has overstepped Russia’s patience and this can be considered a gamechanger in their bilateral relations.

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This article was originally published on InfoBrics.

Paul Antonopoulos is an independent geopolitical analyst.

Short Armenia vs Azerbaijan war update

Short Armenia vs Azerbaijan war update

October 15, 2020

The Saker

As was predicted by many, in spite of the agreement signed in Moscow, thing on the ground in the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan  have escalated: the Armenians have claimed that Azeri drones have attacked Armenian tactical ballistic missiles on Armenian soil and the Azeris have confirmed this, saying that this was both a warning and a preemptive attack to protect Azeri civilians.

Bottom line is this: Azerbaijan has now officially attacked Armenian soil (as opposed to Karabakh soil) and Armenia now has the right to appeal to the CSTO.  So far, the Armenians have not done so, but now they can and, I believe, probably will do so.

Another interesting development is that the USA has accused Turkey of being involved in this war.  This means that by now all three countries Russia, France and the USA are now declaring that the Turks (and or their “good terrorist” proxies from Syria) are involved.  Aliev is outraged and accused everybody of lying.

Finally, Azeri and Turkish outlets have claimed the Kurds are now fighting on the Armenian side.  However, there have been no verifiable sources for this probably false rumor.

As for the Armenian leader Pashinian, he has accused Aliev of being “Hitler”.

What does all this mean?

Well, for one thing, it was inevitable that the very first ceasefire agreement would be broken.  In such situations, they typically are.

The real risk now is that Russia will have to intervene.  There are three most likely scenarios for such an intervention:

Peacekeeping operation: that would only be possible if all sides to the conflict agree to such an operation.  At this point in time, this is still unlikely, but that could change fairly quickly.  However, Russia will only send peacekeepers if the parties agree on a long term political solution to this conflict.  Right now, they prefer fighting down to the last bullet, but this will soon change for both parties.

Peacemaking operation: for this to happen, the UNSC should agree to give a mandate to Russia under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.  While it appears that Turkey currently has no backer in the UNSC, the US and UK hate for everything and anything Russian will probably secure a double veto (with a possible French veto to boot!) just to avoid Russia succeeding at anything, including bringing peace to the region.

CSTO military intervention: in other words, Russia would strike at Azeri forces and assets to stop the Azeri aggression on Armenia.  This is something Russia absolutely will avoid, if at all possible since Russia has absolutely no desire to destroy her excellent partnership with Azerbaijan and her very tenuous and unstable partnership with Turkey (say, in Syria).

It is obvious what Russia will do next: using overt and covert means, she will try to affect the situation on the ground in such a way as to basically force both sides to agree to a Russia-led peacekeeping operation.

The main problem right now is Erdogan who is spending most of his time making inflammatory statements and who is demanding that Turkey be included in any negotiations.  The way the Turks want this is to have Turkey negotiate on behalf of Azerbaijan and Russia negotiate on behalf of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.  So far, Russia has categorically refused this option.

So where do we go from here?

Well, things are probably going to get worse before they get better.  Either that, or they will get worse before they get MUCH worse.  I hope for the first option, but if Turkey and/or Azerbaijan continue to strike at Armenia or if Armenia recognizes “Artsakh” then all bets are off.  We better pray that cool heads prevail on both sides and that Russia can make Erdogan an offer he won’t be able to refuse.  For example, the Russians might declare that the Russian contingent in Armenia will now protect the Armenian airspace with Russian air defense systems (ground or air based).  If, for no apparent reason, Azeri and/or Turkish start falling out of the skies, Erdogan might reconsider.

We shall soon find out.

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Turkey Allied with Azerbaijan Against Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh

By Stephen Lendman

Global Research, October 15, 2020

Months of planning preceed preemptive wars.

Since July, Turkish and Azeri troops participated in joint air and ground military exercise.

Most often these type drills are defensive. They’re conducted to prepare for possible attacks on the territory of participating nations.

Azeris launched war on Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh (NK below), its campaign for control of the enclave backed and likely encouraged by Ankara.

The same likely holds for the US and UK, supporting the agenda of one country over another and their own interests.

Most often when conflicts erupt, their fingerprints are all over them, especially in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Why would the US and Britain support Turkey over Armenia? One reason could be to draw Moscow into the conflict.

Along with Russia and four other regional countries, Armenia is a Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) state.

If the territory of any CSTO member state is attacked by a foreign power, other alliance members are obligated to provide military support.

NK is not Armenian territory, so conflict there doesn’t require other CSTO countries to aid Yerevan militarily.

Turkey is a NATO member.

Despite uneasy relations between Ankara and the West, notably the US and UK, alliance Article 4 calls for members to “consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence, or security of any” is threatened.

Article 5 considers an armed attack (real or otherwise) against one or more members, an attack against all. Collective self-defense is called for.

Based on what’s now known, Turkey helped Azerbaijan prepare for preemptive war on Armenia in NK.

Preparation included training, supplying Baku with heavy weapons, providing command and control involvement, along with deploying jihadist fighters to aid Azeri troops.

If Turkish commanders are harmed by ongoing fighting, accidentally or otherwise, Ankara could retaliate against Armenia militarily.

Azerbaijan borders Russia. Iran borders Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The US and maybe Britain would very much like to draw Iran into the NK conflict.

If fighting spills into its territory, its forces might respond in self-defense, giving the US and UK a pretext to terror-bomb Iranian targets.

On Wednesday, Armenia’s Defense Ministry accused Azerbaijan of striking military equipment in its territory.

Saying Armenian forces reserve the right to respond in kind against an Azeri military facility risks expanding conflict to the territory of both countries.

Under this scenario, Russia could get involved to defend its CSTO partnered state — potentially drawing the US, UK, and other NATO countries into the conflict, Turkey as well more directly.

The above is a nightmarish scenario Moscow and Tehran very much want avoided.

During a Wednesday interview on the NK conflict, I was asked what more can Russia do resolve it.

Major differences between Armenia and Azerbaijan on the one hand, Yerevan and Ankara on the other, are longstanding.

Resolving them to halt fighting might be beyond the diplomatic skills of any negotiator.

I responded to the question, saying Sergey Lavrov’s strategy may be to keep talking to his counterparts and leadership of both warring sides — in person as much as possible, otherwise by phone, urging a halt in fighting.

Protracted conflict in NK assures losers, not winners, he understands.

With Turkish help, Azeri forces could gain an advantage over Armenia’s military.

Baku perhaps could drive Yerevan out of NK partially or entirely.

If fighting continues for weeks or months, mass slaughter and destruction in the enclave will leave no prize for either side to claim.

The prevailing side, if things turn out this way, will have countless numbers of corpses to bury and likely billions of dollars needed for reconstruction.

On Wednesday, Lavrov proposed deploying Russian peacekeepers to monitor things along the line of control in NK.

He clarified his proposal, saying “not even peacekeepers (should participate in the verification mechanism), but military observers that would be sufficient.”

“We believe that it would be perfectly correct if these were our military observers, but the final word should be with the sides (of the conflict).”

“Of course, we proceed from the fact that both Yerevan and Baku will take into account our amicable relations, relations of strategic partnership.”

Stressing his country’s close ties to Turkey, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev said Baku, Yerevan, and Ankara would have to agree on Russia’s involvement this way.

On October 14, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said Azerbaijan wants total control of NK, calling the situation on the ground “very difficult.”

He claimed Baku and Ankara do not want “to stop their aggression.”

NK defense forces accused Azerbaijan of “violat(ing) the humanitarian truce, targeting peaceful settlements,” adding:

“In addition to shelling the city of Martakert, the enemy (Baku) also employed air force (warplanes) in the northeastern direction.”

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry accused Armenia of shelling the town of Tartar, causing at least seven casualties.

It’s unclear if they’e civilians or military personnel.

Lavrov criticized Turkey’s involvement in the fighting.

Calling a military solution unacceptable, he said “(w)e do not agree with the position voiced by Turkey, that was also expressed several times by (Azeri) President Aliyev,” adding:

“It is not a secret that we cannot agree with a statement that a military solution to the conflict is permissible.”

International Committee of the Red Cross director for Eurasia Martin Scheupp called on both sides to halt fighting.

“We project that at least tens of thousands of people across the region will need support over the next few months,” he stressed, adding:

“Civilians are dying or suffering life-changing injuries.”

“Homes, businesses and once-busy streets are being reduced to rubble.”

“The elderly and babies are among those forced to spend hours in unheated basements or to leave their homes for safety.”

Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu spoke to his Armenian and Azeri counterparts, urging them to observe ceasefire.

Conflict is in its third week with no signs of either side backing down.

Russia continues trying to get them to halt fighting and discuss differences diplomatically.

Ceasefire agreed to by their foreign ministers in Moscow didn’t take hold.

On Tuesday, Armenia’s Defense Ministry said Azeri forces launched attacks in “three to four directions, and battles continued throughout the day.”

“Particularly intense fighting occurred in the northern sector.”

“It was probably among the most difficult battles in this war.”

Fighting could continue for weeks if Russia’s best efforts fail to get both sides to observe ceasefire agreed to last Friday.

*

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 2020

TURKEY THREATENS ARMENIA WITH DIRECT MILITARY INTERVENTION IN KARABAKH WAR

As of October 13, clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces continue in the southern part of the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region, while on the other parts of the frontline Baku and Yerevan limited their military activity to exchange of artillery and aerial strikes. The humanitarian ceasefire signed by the sides in Moscow formally remains in force, but the terms of the ceasefire are not fulfilled by both sides.

The main point of instability is the town of Hadrut, which Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev announced to have been ‘liberated’ from ‘Armenian occupants’. However, Armenian forces apparently forgot to read his tweet and withdraw from the area. So, now, the Azerbaijani leader is forced to explain what’s going on.

On October 12, he sated that a large group of Armenian special forces attacked the town to make a few selfies for Armenian propaganda, but the attack was repelled. “Although from a strategic point of view, it does not matter so much for Armenia. They just take such a step to go there and take a selfie or report to their population. The Azerbaijani Army neutralized this large group,” Aliyev stressed.

The Armenian military says that the town is still in the hands of its forces and that it has successfully repelled another Azerbaijani attack there.

Turkey has been openly threatening Armenia with a joint Turkish-Azerbaijani advance if it does not surrender the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region to Azerbaijan. Meanwhile, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that “Baku cannot wait for justice for another 30 years” claiming that “Turkey is ready to support the fair position of the Azerbaijani side.” According to Akar, if the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh is not resolved in the near future, then the next step will be “the Azerbaijani-Turkish movement aimed at returning their land.”

Sources affiliated with Turkish-backed militant groups in Syria say that Ankara has been preparing a new deployment of militant groups’ members to Azerbaijan to support its war with Armenia. If the numbers of 1,500-2,000 fresh militants that are set to come to Azerbaijan are confirmed, this will not only make the estimated number of Turkish proxies deployed there from 4,000-6,000, but also confirm that Ankara is set to use its influence to motivate Azerbaijan to opt for the scenario of a further escalation.

Likely, the Turkish leadership seems the war in Karabakh as an important turning point, which, in the event of military success, will turn into the leading power in the Southern Caucasus and give additional momentum to its geopolitical expansion. It will also boost the popularity of Recep Tayyip Erdogan that positions himself as the leader of the Turkic world and a de-facto Sultan of his own Neo-Ottoman Empire.

According to the Armenian side, the Turkish military is already directly involved in the war. In particular, the presence of Turkish F-16s, Turkish special forces, military advisers and Turkish-backed Syrian militants in Azerbaijan are hardly deniable facts.

It is interesting to observe how for example the main version from Turkish and Azerbaijani sources about the Turkish F-16 jets switched from public denial of their presence to claims that they are not involved directly in the conflict and are just needed to deter Armenian aggression. Reports from the ground and the diplomatic posture of the sides indicate that Azerbaijan, supported by Turkey, is preparing a new military push against Armenian forces in the Nagorno-Karabakh region to consolidate and expand its initial gains before the winter.

Related News

AZERBAIJANI MILITARY DESTROYS ARMENIAN S-300S AS HUMANITARIAN CEASEFIRE NEARS ITS COLLAPSE

The Armenian-Azerbaijani war in the Nagorno-Karabakh region does not show signs of nearing its end despite the humanitarian ceasefire launched in the region. The ceasefire started in the Nagorno-Karabakh region at 12:00 local time on October 10. The ceasefire deal was reached by the Azerbaijani and Armenian sides following long talks in Moscow a day ago. Russia played a key role in forcing the sides to make steps towards the de-escalation.

Azerbaijan and Armenia also formally agreed to begin substantive negotiations of a peaceful settlement of a military conflict over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh that erupted on September 27. These talks will be mediated by the Organization for Security and co-operation in Europe’s Minsk Group of international negotiators. Following the ceasefire agreement, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that the first phase of the military operation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region is completed. The Russian diplomatic intervention allowed to put an end to the hottest phase of the military confrontation and force the sides to halt active offensive operations on the ground.

Despite this, the situation on the ground remained very tense. Almost immediately after the start of the ceasefire regime, the sides simultaneously accused each other of violating the ceasefire and of shelling civilian and military targets, and repeated these claims on October 11 and October 12.

Meanwhile, Armenia and Azerbaijan released a new batch of fresh and few days old footage showcasing casualties of each other and making loud statements. In particular, pro-Azerbaijani sources claimed that at least two more S-300 systems of Armenia were destroyed in Karabakh. The released videos accompanying these claims include the moments of the alleged destruction of 35D6 (ST-68U) radars and a S-300 missile launcher of the Armenian military with Israeli IAI Harop loitering munitions near the village of Khojaly in the Khojaly District and the village of Qubadlı in the Kashatagh District.

The 35D6 is a vehicle-carried three-dimensional air surveillance radar system. The range of the radar’s primary functions includes the detection of low-flying targets protected with active and or passive jamming screens, and also the performance of air traffic control. It can be operated as a separate installation as well as a part of the S-300 air-defense system. Nonetheless, if it was the S-300 batteries, as Azerbaijani sources insist, it still remains unclear what these long-range air defense systems were doing so close to the frontline.

Meanwhile, the Armenian military reported that its forces repelled large Azerbaijani attacks in the northeastern and southern parts of the region. The hottest area of the frontline is the town of Hardut. Azerbaijani President Aliyev officially announced that his forces captured it a few days ago. Nonetheless, videos from the ground show that in fact most of the town remained in the hands of the Armenians. Another part of it is now a gray zone, which is not controlled by any side. According to Armenian sources, Azerbaijani troops, supported by Turkish special forces and Syrian militants, tried to capture the town just a few hours before the start of the ceasefire. After this failed attack, Azerbaijani combat drones and artillery units delivered powerful strikes on Hardut and nearby villages, but were not able to force Armenian troops to retreat.

The Armenian Defense Ministry insists that the Turkish Air Force is leading the aerial operations of Azerbaijan. “Turkish aerial command centers, flying within the Turkish airspace, are commanding the Turkish UAV’s operating in the Azerbaijani air force. UAVs, accompanied by six F-16 units, are directly attacking the peaceful population and civilian infrastructure of Artsakh,” the defense ministry spokesman said.

In its own turn, the Azerbaijani side says that it’s just taking the necessary steps to respond to Armenian violations of the ceasefire and strikes on Azerbaijani settlements. The most widely covered incident of this kind took place on October 11, when an alleged Armenian ballistic missile hit Ganja city.

The active offensive phase of the Armenian-Azerbaijani war was put on pause, but the conflict itself does not seem to be nearing its end. Without the real political will of the Azerbaijani and Armenian leadership to reach a ceasefire, the de-escalation of the conflict, without direct intervention of some third party, remains unlikely. Instead, the war has chances to resume with new power in the coming days.

Former USSR Republics Are Going Crazy. Russia Doesn’t Stop Them. (Ruslan Ostashko)

Source

October 12, 2020

Former USSR Republics Are Going Crazy. Russia Doesn’t Stop Them. (Ruslan Ostashko)

Translated by Sasha and subtitled by Leo.

Note for video: If the subtitles are off compared to the text below, it’s because YouTube has changed their captioning system and it is a worse update than usual. This time it doesn’t allow me to update the saves from the original translation file. Next time I will try a different method.

Apparently Azerbaijan’s war against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, which filled the news reels will have to make room now. The Kyrgyz who freed their ex-president Almazbek Atambayev from prison swept into the news agenda. Russia is observing the madness on the post-Soviet territory without interfering.

The member of the Union State, Belorussia remains the only republic of the former USSR where Moscow has drawn an unambiguous line of its interests. (Titlecard of previous video – Ruslan Ostashko: “TU-160 Drew the Borders of Belorussia.”) Let me remind you that its borders were circumnavigated by the Russian TU-160s. As for the other ex-brothers from the common Soviet home, our country lets them lose their minds at a pace chosen voluntarily by these ‘independents’. Some subscribers ask why neither of our channels have shown any of my personal material on Azero-Armenian war. Here’s my answer: in fact they have, only the video was not published on YouTube but in the Club of Experimental History which has a limited membership. Those who didn’t join never saw it. As for the open platforms, I prefer to refrain from commenting. The reason for it is more or less the same as the one brought forward by the sarcastic authors of a well-known patriotic Telegram channel.

Source – Telegram channel ‘Horde’: “For the past thirty years we have divorced quite alright, dear citizens of the post-Soviet states. The strengthening of all sorts of ties, agreements, and what not – all of that is there, but. You have insisted for all these thirty years that you are on your own. Behold the result: now the youngest Russians who could recall how they got drunk in Baku or Yerevan as students are well over fifty, including, by the way, hundreds of thousands of the dear Russians with surnames ending with ‘ian’ [Armenian] and ‘ev’ [Azeri]. You kept building your own, separate from the metropolis life. And finally you have built it. As a result your merry but in reality not merry at all showdowns, during which you began to kill each other by the hundreds, are your sovereign showdowns.”

It is exactly how it is. The Russian state of course takes an interest in all this madness as far as it concerns her security in the geopolitical sense, undertaking actions it deems necessary. But our civic society, whose interests I see myself a representative of, have grown tired of being interested in the ex-brothers who for thirty years have been applying the de-Russification policies and other aspects of independent nationalist awareness. This is why I can say with clear conscience I don’t care how many Azeris and Armenians will kill of each other. It is their sovereign right they tore away with their teeth, no matter what they squeal at us.

Source – Telegram channel ‘Horde’: “Come tell us what Russia will ‘lose’ if it doesn’t support your side. ‘Well OK,’ any person who is an atom in big Russia will say, but what exactly will we lose? Your constant complaints about the evil empire? Your wee tears about how you were persecuted by the tsars and the Soviet Union? Perhaps you support us in the international arena all the time? Did you at least recognise the Crimea? Ah, you vote for the Russian performers at the Eurovision contest. We deeply bow to the ground to you for that… You can count on the full moral support by the respective music establishment. Only don’t ask how many divisions Allegrova or Galkin, or Gotseriyev have. Russia stands for peace. And the Russians observe with a great humanitarian grief how two ancient peoples with unique cultures shed blood over a forester’s lodge. But we are strangers over there at your place.”

The same goes to the events in Kyrgyzstan. What do we care if one Central Asian bey will replace another with the help of the local basmachi? Both Atanbayev and Jeenbekov cooperated with Russia. Who else would they cooperate with? Who needs them except Russia by any standards? Any serious regional player will eat them up without choking. Because the Krygyz haven’t been able to put the life in their republic in order for thirty years of their independence. And instead of building the bright Western democracy standard, they turned back to the Middle Ages.

Well, let them. The main thing is to keep the Russian borders closed when the ‘Gastarbeiter’ crowds, escaping all this and barely understanding the Russian language, will try to force their way in here. The newest history of the post-Soviet republics clearly demonstrates who exactly brought civilization and higher culture there and what the so-called Russian and Soviet occupation, which they have been squealing about for thirty years, really was like. It was their only chance for a path into the civilized future. And by rushing to grab a full bosom of independence they blew that chance.

Source – Telegram channel ‘Horde’: “When thirty years ago they took as much independence as the alconaut Boris Nikolayevich [Yeltsin] was happy to spare, each of the former sister-republics dreamed of becoming something like Switzerland or Singapore, whom everybody likes and where everyone goes for a holiday to praise the national folklore, nature and embroidered shirts, where the rich people want to keep their money. But let’s say it honestly, the sister-republics have grown quite beastly since then, deprived of the ‘Prison of Nations’. They are just smart enough for making revolutions, intrigues and territorial claims against the neighbours. Our perimeter, deprived of the USSR, reverted to the Middle Ages wherein the Lithuanians squabble with the Belorussians, the Azerbaijanis with the Armenians, the Georgians with the Ossetians, the Kyrgyz with the Uzbeks. Freedom does not bring good to some peoples, dear friends.”

The wealthier and culturally richer Russia, where we live and work, becomes, the greater the contrast between our reality of the 21st century and the observed medieval madness that is raging on the post-Soviet territories will be. So I can only say to those citizens of the former USSR republics who don’t wish a dark fate for their children: learn the Russian language diligently as well as the Russian laws. All this will be useful to you when you try to register a patent or a limited stay permission in our country. We’ve had enough of your ancient unique culture’s whose representatives are merely able to slaughter their neighbours. I am only for hardcore Russification. Those who don’t want to want to Russify should stay in their Middle Ages, with all the consequences resulting from it.

President Assad Interview with Sputnik TV and the Full Interview Transcript

President Bashar Assad interview with Russian Sputnik

Syrian President Bashar Al Assad gave a couple of interviews to Russian media commemorating the Russian fifth year of military intervention in Syria aiding the Syrian army combating US-sponsored terror.

In this interview with the Russian Sputnik TV addresses a number of current topics including the Turkish instigation of the current escalations in Nagorno-Karabach, Erdogan’s use of foreign and Syrian mercenary terrorists in his interventions in Syria, Libya, and now between Azerbaijan and Armenia, the Trump’s plot to assassinate him, his take on the US elections and expectations of the new US president in regards to US meddling in Syria, COVID 19 and the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, and the military and political relations between Syria and Russia.

President Assad also addressed the Israeli occupation of the Golan, the Iranian presence in Syria, and the US and Turkish occupation of parts in eastern and northern Syria.

On the upcoming US elections and Trump’s nomination or a Nobel Peace Prize, President Assad: ‘There’s no president in the USA, there’s a CEO who implements the will of the board: the lobbyists for major corporations, those are the banks, armaments, oil… etc.’

President Assad also answered a question whether he intends to run for the coming Syrian presidential elections next year, and about the Syrian army’s need for modern weapons including S400 or advanced versions of S300 air defense systems.

Sputnik TV has been releasing short clips of the interview, here they released what’s believed to be half of the interview on their French YouTube channel with French subtitles.

We’ve added English subtitles to this part of the interview based on the transcript provided by SANA for people who prefer to read and people with hearing disabilities in the following video followed by the transcript of the full interview, both parts

Syrian President Bashar Al Assad gave a couple of interviews to Russian media commemorating the Russian fifth year of military intervention in Syria aiding the Syrian army combating US-sponsored terror.

In this interview with the Russian Sputnik TV addresses a number of current topics including the Turkish instigation of the current escalations in Nagorno-Karabach, Erdogan’s use of foreign and Syrian mercenary terrorists in his interventions in Syria, Libya, and now between Azerbaijan and Armenia, the Trump’s plot to assassinate him, his take on the US elections and expectations of the new US president in regards to US meddling in Syria, COVID 19 and the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, and the military and political relations between Syria and Russia.

President Assad also addressed the Israeli occupation of the Golan, the Iranian presence in Syria, and the US and Turkish occupation of parts in eastern and northern Syria.

On the upcoming US elections and Trump’s nomination or a Nobel Peace Prize, President Assad: ‘There’s no president in the USA, there’s a CEO who implements the will of the board: the lobbyists for major corporations, those are the banks, armaments, oil… etc.’

President Assad also answered a question whether he intends to run for the coming Syrian presidential elections next year, and about the Syrian army’s need for modern weapons including S400 or advanced versions of S300 air defense systems.

Sputnik TV has been releasing short clips of the interview, here they released what’s believed to be half of the interview on their French YouTube channel with French subtitles.

We’ve added English subtitles to this part of the interview based on the transcript provided by SANA for people who prefer to read and people with hearing disabilities in the following video followed by the transcript of the full interview, both parts:https://videopress.com/embed/PQWtLurT?preloadContent=metadata&hd=1The video is also available on BitChute.

Question 1: Mr. President, thank you very much for giving us this opportunity to have this interview at these days when we remember that five years ago the Russian assistance came to Syria. So, after five years of the Russian military operation, nowadays can you say that the war in Syria now is over?

President Assad: No, definitely not. As long as you have terrorists occupying some areas of our country and committing different kinds of crimes and assassinations and other crimes, it’s not over, and I think their supervisors are keen to make it continue for a long time. That’s what we believe.

Question 2: And what moments of the heroism of the Russians do you recall and keep in your heart? Which of them do you consider worth telling to your grandchildren, let’s say?

President Assad: There are so many, and I remember some of them, of course. After five years of this cooperation between the Syrian and the Russian army in a vicious war, I think heroism is becoming a collective act; it’s not individual, it’s not only a few cases of heroism that you remember. For example, if you think about military aircraft pilots – the air force, Russian pilots kept flying over the terrorists on a daily basis, risking their lives, and you had a few aircrafts that had been shot down by the terrorists. If you talk about the other officers, they are supporting the Syrian army not in the rear lines, but in the front lines and as a consequence you had martyrs. What I’m going to tell my grandchildren someday is not only about this heroism, but I’m also going to talk about these common values that we have in both our armies that made us brothers during this war; these noble values, faithful to their causes, defending civilians, defending the innocent. Many things to talk about in this war.

Question 3: And what moment does symbolize for you a turning point during this conflict, during this war?

President Assad: It’s been now nearly ten years since the war started, so we have many turning points that I can mention, not only one. The first is in 2013 when we started liberating many areas, especially the middle of Syria, from al-Nusra. Then in 2014, it was in the other direction when ISIS appeared suddenly with American support and they occupied a very important part of Syria and Iraq at the same time; this is when the terrorists started occupying other areas, because ISIS was able to distract the Syrian Army from fulfilling its mission in liberating the western part of Syria. Then the other turning point was when the Russians came to Syria in 2015 and we started liberating together many areas. In that stage, after the Russians came to Syria to support the Syrian Army, I’d say the turning point was to liberate the eastern part of Aleppo; this is where the liberation of other areas in Syria started from that point. It was important because of the importance of Aleppo, and because it was the beginning of the liberation – the large-scale liberation, that continued later to Damascus, to the rest of Aleppo recently, and other areas in the eastern part of Syria and the southern part. So, these are the main turning points. If you put them together, all of them are strategic and all of them changed the course of this war.

Question 4: I now will turn to some actual news, and we in Russia follow what now is happening in the region of the Armenian and Azerbaijanian conflict, and definitely Turkey plays a role there. Is it negative or positive, that is not for me to judge, but I would like to ask you about Turkey’s and Erdogan’s policies. So, in recent years, Turkey has been trying to maximize its international influence. We all see its presence in Libya, its intervention into Syria, territorial disputes with Greece, and the now open support to Azerbaijan. What do you think about that kind of behavior of Ankara and Erdogan personally, and should the international community pay more attention to this sort of neo-Othmanism.

President Assad: Let’s be blunt and clear; Erdogan has supported terrorists in Syria, and he’s been supporting terrorists in Libya, and he was the main instigator and initiator of the recent conflict that has been going on in Nagorno-Karabakh between Azerbaijan and Armenia. So, I would sum his behavior as dangerous, for different reasons. First of all, because it reflects the Muslim Brotherhood behavior; the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist extremist group. Second, because he’s creating war in different areas to distract his own public opinion in Turkey from focusing on his behavior inside Turkey, especially after his scandalous relations with ISIS in Syria; everybody knows that ISIS used to sell Syrian oil through Turkey under the umbrella of the American air forces and of course the involvement of the Turks in selling this oil. So, this is his goal, and this is dangerous. So, whether the international community should be aware or not, the word “international community” in reality is only a few countries: the great powers and rich countries, and let’s call them the influencers on the political arena. The majority of this international community is complicit with Turkey in supporting the terrorists. So, they know what Turkey is doing, they are happy about what Turkey is doing, and Turkey is an arm for those countries in fulfilling their policies and dreams in this region. So, no, we cannot bet on the international community at all. You can bet on international law, but it doesn’t exist because there’s no institution to implement international law. So, we have to depend on ourselves in Syria and on the support of our friends.

Question 5: So, more about this conflict. There were reports that some terrorists from the groups that were fighting previously in Syria are now being transferred to this conflict zone between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Can you confirm that? Do you have any information about fighters going from Syria to…?

President Assad: We definitely can confirm it, not because we have evidence, but sometimes if you don’t have evidence you have indicators. Turkey used terrorists coming from different countries in Syria. They used the same method in Libya; they used Syrian terrorists in Libya, maybe with other nationalities. So, it’s self-evident and very probable that they are using that method in Nagorno-Karabakh because as I said earlier, they are the ones who started this problem, this conflict; they encouraged this conflict. They want to achieve something and they’re going to use the same method. So, we can say for sure that they’ve been using Syrian and other nationalities of terrorists in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Question 6: Let’s turn now to the relations between our countries, Russia and Syria. Are there any plans for your contacts or meetings with President Putin?

President Assad: We have regular contact, mainly over the phone, whenever something new happens or whenever there is a need for these conversations. Of course, we’re going to talk in the future, we’re going to meet in the future, but that depends on the political situation regarding Syria. And as you know now because of the Coronavirus the whole world is paralyzed, so in the near future I think the conversation will be on the phone.

Question 7: And will you raise the question of the new credits for Syria? For new loans?

President Assad: In our economic situation, it’s very important to seek loans, but at the same time, you shouldn’t take this step without being able to pay back the loan. Otherwise, it’s going to be a burden, and it’s going to be a debt. So, it has two aspects. Talking about loans is in our minds, and we discussed it with our Russian counterparts, but we have to prepare for such a step before taking it seriously, or practically, let’s say.

Question 8: Recently, the delegation from Russia came, and Vice Prime Minister Borisov was here. Is now Syria interested in buying anti-aircraft systems like S-400 or demanding for additional S-300?

President Assad: Actually, we started a plan for upgrading our army two years ago, and it’s self-evident that we’re going to do this upgrade in cooperation with the Russian Ministry of Defense, because for decades now, our army depends fully on Russian armaments. But there are priorities, it’s not necessarily the missiles, maybe you have other priorities now regarding the conflict on the ground. So, there’s a full-scale plan, but we have to move according to these priorities. Usually, we don’t talk about the details of our military plans, but in general, as I said, it’s upgrading the army in every aspect of the military field.

Question 9: You definitely follow the presidential campaign in the United States. And do you hope that the new US President, regardless of the name of the winner, will review sanctions policies towards Syria?

President Assad: We don’t usually expect presidents in the American elections, we only expect CEOs; because you have a board, this board is made of the lobbies and the big corporates like banks and armaments and oil, etc. So, what you have is a CEO, and this CEO doesn’t have the right or the authority to review; he has to implement it. And that’s what happened to Trump when he became president after the elections –

Journalist: He used to be CEO for many years before.

President Assad: Exactly! And he is a CEO anyway. He wanted to follow or pursue his own policy, and he was about to pay the price – you remember the impeachment issue. He had to swallow every word he said before the elections. So, that’s why I said you don’t expect a president, you only expect a CEO. If you want to talk about changing the policy, you have one board – the same board will not change its policy. The CEO will change but the board is still the same, so don’t expect anything.

Question 10: Who are this board? Who are these people?

President Assad: As I said, this board is made up of the lobbies, so they implement whatever they want, and they control the Congress and the others, and the media, etc. So, there’s an alliance between those different self-vested interest corporations in the US.

Question 11: So, Trump pledged to withdraw American troops from Syria but he failed to do that. Now he’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Do you think if he manages to bring American troops home, is he going to be awarded that Nobel Peace Prize?

President Assad: He’s nominated?

Journalist: He is nominated.

President Assad: I didn’t know about this. If you want to talk about the nomination for peace, peace is not only about withdrawing your troops; it’s a step, it’s a good step, and it’s a necessary step. But peace is about your policy, it’s about your behavior. It means to stop occupying land, to stop toppling governments just because they are not with you, to stop creating chaos in different areas of the world. Peace is to follow international law and to support the United Nations Charter, etc. This is peace, this is when you deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. Obama had this prize; he had just been elected and he hadn’t done anything. The only achievement he had at that time maybe, was that he moved from his house to the White House, and he was given a Nobel Prize. So, they would give it to Trump for something similar. I don’t know what is it, but definitely not peace.

Question 12: So, Trump acknowledged recently that he intended to eliminate you personally, and that the Pentagon Chief Mattis persuaded him not to do so. Did you know about that at that time, and were some measures undertaken to prevent it?

President Assad: Assassination is American modus operandi, that’s what they do all the time, for decades, everywhere, in different areas in this world, this is not something new. So, you have to keep it in your mind that this kind of plan has always existed for different reasons. We have to expect this in our situation in Syria, with this conflict, with the Americans, they occupy our land, and they are supporting the terrorists. It’s expected; even if you don’t have any information, it should be self-evident. How do you prevent it? It’s not about the incident per se – it’s not about this plan regarding this person or this president, it’s about the behavior. Nothing will deter the United States from committing these kinds of vicious actions or acts unless there’s an international balance where the United States cannot get away with its crimes. Otherwise, it’s going to continue these kinds of acts in different areas, and nothing would stop it.

Question 13: And were there any other attempts on you during your presidency?

President Assad: I didn’t hear of any attempt, but as I said, it’s self-evident that you have many attempts, or maybe, plans to be more precise. I mean, let’s say, were they active or on hold? Nobody knows.

Question 14: Now I turn back to the situation in Syria, and will you run for presidency in the year 2021?

President Assad: It’s still early to talk about it because we still have a few months. I can take this decision at the beginning of next year.

Question 15: Interesting. And have you congratulated Mr. Alexander Lukashenko with his inauguration in Belarus, and do you probably see similarities between political technologies that were used by the UK and the US to support Belarusian opposition, and those methods that were used against Syria and against the Syrian state in information war?

President Assad: I did send a congratulation letter to President Lukashenko and that’s normal. With regards to what’s happening in Belarus: regardless of the similarities between the two countries – Syria and Belarus – or the differences, regardless of whether you have a real conflict or an artificial one in a country, the West – as long as it hasn’t changed its hegemonic policy around the world – is going to interfere anywhere in the world. If you have a real problem in your country, whether it’s small or big, it’s going to interfere. And if it’s domestic, they’re going to make it international just to interfere and meddle in your affairs. If you don’t have problems, they’re going to do their best to create problems and to make them international again in order to meddle in your affairs. This is their policy.

So, it’s not about what’s happening in Belarus. Like any other country, Syria, Belarus, your country, every country has their own problems. Does the West have the right to interfere or not? That’s what we have to oppose. So, going back to your question, yes, it’s the same behavior, it’s the same strategy, it’s the same tactics. The only difference is the branding of the products, different headlines. They use certain headlines for Russia, others for Venezuela, another one for Syria, and so on. So, it’s not about Belarus; it’s about the behavior of the West and it’s about their strategy for the future, because they think with the rise of Russia, with the rise of China, with the rise of other powers around the world, this is an existential threat for them, so the only way to oppose or to face this threat is by creating chaos around the world.

Question 16: So, you have already mentioned the Coronavirus and it affected all humankind. Was someone from the government infected, or maybe you personally?

President Assad: Thank God, no. And I don’t think anyone from our government has been infected.

Question 17: That’s good news. And would you personally like to take the Russian vaccine?

President Assad: Of course, in these circumstances, anyone would love to be vaccinated against this dangerous virus. But I think it’s not available for the international market yet, but we’re going to discuss it with the Russian authority when it’s available internationally to have vaccines for the Syrian market. It’s very important.

Journalist: Yes, and Russians have already suggested that it can be available for our international partners…

President Assad: They said in November it could be available.

Question 18: So, you will be asking for the Russian vaccine?

President Assad: Yes, definitely, it’s a necessity at these times.

Question 19: And in what amount?

President Assad: That depends on how much is available and we have to discuss the amount that we need with the health authority in Syria.

Question 20: So, you are going to have negotiations in detail with the Russian authorities.

President Assad: Definitely, of course. Everybody in Syria is asking about the Russian vaccine and when it’s going to be available.

Question 21: Now, on the backdrop of the pandemic outbreak, does the public demand to change the constitution still exist? Because Coronavirus created a new paradigm in the world, and certainly in politics. So, the problems and the Geneva talks cast doubts on the question of whether the need to change the constitution still exists. What do you think about that?

President Assad: No, there’s no relation between the Coronavirus and the constitution. We changed the constitution in 2012 and now we are discussing the constitution in the Geneva talks. We had a round of negotiations nearly one month ago. So, the Coronavirus delayed those rounds, but it didn’t stop them.

Ultimately, the Geneva negotiations are a political game, it’s not what the public – the Syrians, are focused on. The Syrian people are not thinking about the constitution, nobody is talking about it. Their concerns are regarding the reforms we need to enact and the policies we need to change to ensure their needs are met. This is what we are discussing at the moment and where our concerns are, and where the government is focusing its efforts.

Question 22: So, you say that the Geneva talks should continue, and the constitution on the agenda, and still there should be more discussions?

President Assad: Yes, of course. We started and we’re going to continue in the next few weeks.

Question 23: Will Syria decide to conduct a trial against the White Helmets, and do you think that there should be a sort of international investigation on their activities, probably under the UN umbrella?

President Assad: When there is a crime, you don’t take the knife or the weapon to trial, you send the criminal to trial. In this case, the White Helmets are just the tools or the means – the weapon that’s been used for terrorism. They were created by the United Kingdom, supported by the United States and of course France and other Western countries, and used directly by Turkey. All these regimes are the real father and mother of the White Helmets, so they have to be held accountable even before the White Helmets themselves. Now, the question is do we have international laws to pursue such procedures? No, we don’t. Otherwise, the United States wouldn’t get away with its crimes in Iraq for example, in Yemen, or in different areas. Not only the United States, but also France, the UK and different countries, and the US in Syria. But you don’t have these institutions that could implement such laws, as I mentioned earlier. So, no, we have to focus more on the perpetrators, the real perpetrators, the real supervisors. They are the Western countries and their puppets in the region.

Question 24: But should probably any step be undertaken concretely toward the White Helmets? Because they are still active?

President Assad: Yes, of course, they are criminals. I’m not saying anything different. Before they were the White Helmets, they were al-Nusra; there are videos and images of all those criminals, so they have to be tried in Syria. But when you talk about the White Helmets as an institution, it’s made by the West. So, they are criminals as individuals, but the White Helmets is a Western institution – an extremist terrorist organization – based on the al-Nusra organization.

Question 25: You say that the presence of the US and Turkish army in Syria is illegal. What will you do to stop it?

President Assad: It is an occupation and, in this situation, we have to do two things: the first is to eliminate the excuse that they’ve been using for this occupation, which is the terrorists – in this case ISIS. Most of the world now know that ISIS was created by the Americans and is supported by them; they give them their missions, like any American troops. You have to eliminate the excuse, so, eliminating the terrorists in Syria is priority number one for us. After that, if they, the Americans and the Turks, don’t leave, the natural thing that will happen is popular resistance. This is the only way; they won’t leave through discussion or through international law since it doesn’t exist. So, you don’t have any other means but resistance and this is what happened in Iraq. What made the Americans withdraw in 2007? It was because of the popular resistance in Iraq.

ISIS, the Bombshell Interview to Impeach Obama

https://www.syrianews.cc/isis-the-bombshell-interview-to-impeach-obama/embed/#?secret=Fa36QPsTx4

Question 26: So, what do you think about the agreement between the US and the Syrian Kurds in terms of extracting oil? And will you undertake any measures against it?

President Assad: This is robbery, and the only way to stop this robbery is to liberate your land. If you don’t liberate it, no measure will stop them from doing this because they are thieves, and you cannot stop a thief unless you put him in prison or you deter him somehow by isolating him from the area where he can commit his robbery. So, the same thing has to be done with those thieves. They have to be expelled from this region; this is the only way. And the Syrian government should control every part of Syria, so the situation will return to normal.

Question 27: How do you assess the situation in Idlib? How is Syria going to resolve the problem of expelling terrorists from there, and how many of them fight now there, how many terrorists, to your assessment?

President Assad: Since 2013, we adopted a certain, let’s say, methodology in dealing with these areas where the terrorists control mainly the civilians or the cities. We give them the chance to give up their armaments and in return, they are granted amnesty from the government; that has succeeded in many areas in Syria. But if they don’t seek reconciliation, we have to attack militarily, and that’s what happened in every area we have liberated since 2013. This methodology applies to the areas where there were national reconciliations and the fighters were Syrian. However, Idlib is a different case; most of the foreigners in Syria are concentrated in Idlib, so they either go to Turkey – this is where they came from or came through, or they go back to their countries or they die in Syria.

Question 28: In Europe?

President Assad: Mainly in Europe. Some of them came from Russia, from Arab countries, from so many countries around the world. All those Jihadist extremists wanted to come and fight in Syria.

Question 29: So, now this area is under the, let’s say, the supervision and the common operations by Russians, by Turks, sometimes by Americans. Do you see that this cooperation is efficient, and how this experience can be used in the future?

President Assad: No, I don’t think it’s efficient for a simple reason: if it was efficient, we wouldn’t have gone to war recently in many areas in Aleppo and Idlib. Because the Turkish regime was supposed to convince the terrorists in that area to withdraw and pave the way for the Syrian Army and the Syrian government and institutions to take control, but they didn’t. Every time they give the same commitment; they haven’t fulfilled any of their promises or commitments. So, no, I wouldn’t say this cooperation was effective, but let’s see. They still have another chance to withdraw the terrorists north of the M4 in Idlib. This is their latest commitment in agreement with the Russian side, but they haven’t fulfilled it yet. So, let’s wait and see.

Question 30: Do you consider the possibility of negotiations with Israel in terms of, you know, stopping the hostile activities? And is it possible that in the future Syria will establish diplomatic relations with Israel, as several Arab countries did recently?

President Assad: Our position is very clear since the beginning of peace talks in the nineties, so nearly three decades ago, when we said peace for Syria is about rights. Our right is our land. We can only have normal relations with Israel when we have our land back. It’s very simple. So, it is possible when Israel is ready and Israel is not ready. It has never been ready; we’ve never seen any official in the Israeli regime who is ready to move one step towards peace. So, theoretically yes, but practically, so far, the answer is no.

Question 31: So, this news from other Arab countries who have established recently, I thought probably can be an impetus for Syria and Israel to start negotiations, but as I understand there are no negotiations between your countries underway at the time.

President Assad: No, there is none, nothing at all.

Question 32: You have already mentioned the enforcement of your armed forces. What are the obstacles for it? Do you see any obstacles for enforcing your armed forces?

President Assad: When you talk about big projects, you always have obstacles, but you can overcome these obstacles; nothing is impossible. Sometimes it could be financial, sometimes it could be about priorities, sometimes it could be about the situation on the ground. This is the only obstacle. Otherwise, no, we don’t have any obstacles. We are moving forward in that regard, but it takes time. It’s a matter of time, nothing more.

Question 33: Some international players say that Iranian withdrawal from Syria is a precondition for the economic restoration of the country and cooperation with the Syrian government, of the Western governments and probably the businesses. Will Syria agree with this condition, and will it ask Iran to withdraw, if ever?

President Assad: First of all, we don’t have Iranian troops and that’s very clear. They support Syria, they send their military experts, they work with our troops on the ground, they exist with the Syrian Army. But let’s take one practical example: nearly a year ago, the Americans told the Russians to ” convince the Iranians that they should be 80 kilometers away from the border with the Golan Heights” that is occupied by the Israelis. Although there were no Iranian troops, the Iranians were very flexible, they said “ok, no Iranian personnel will be south of that line” and the Americans said that if we can agree upon this, we are going to withdraw from the occupied eastern part of Syria on the borders with Iraq called al-Tanf. Nothing happened, they didn’t withdraw. So, the Iranian issue is a pretext for occupying Syrian land and supporting terrorists. It’s used as a mask to cover their real intentions. The only way for them to implement what they are saying is when Syria becomes a puppet state to the United States. That’s what they want, nothing else. Everything else they talk about is just lies, false flag allegations. So, I don’t think there’s any real solution with the Americans as long as they don’t want to change their behavior.

Question 34: And the last question: is there anything that you are proud of, and anything that you are sorry for doing or not doing?

President Assad: During the war?

Journalist: During your presidency.

President Assad: You have to differentiate between the policies and between the implementation. In terms of policies, from the very beginning, we have said we’re going to listen to the Syrian people and that’s why we reformed the constitution in 2012. We have said we’re going to fight the terrorists and we are still doing that after ten years. We have said that we have to preserve our independence – national independence and that’s what we are fighting for, and we have to make alliances with our friends. So, regarding these policies, I think we were right. Not trusting the West? We were right on many fronts. In terms of implementation, it’s about the tactics, it’s about many things that you may say were wrong. For example: were the reconciliations wrong? Because in some areas those people who had amnesty, didn’t go back to the rule of law. So, you can say this is wrong, but in reality, those reconciliations were very important steps. I don’t think that in the policies we were wrong. You have many mistakes regarding the implementation anywhere and sometimes on a daily basis.

Journalist: Ok, Mr. President, our time is running out, so again, thanks a lot for this frank and lengthy interview.

President Assad: Thank you. Thank you for coming to Syria.

Journalist: Thank you very much

End of the interview transcript in English.Related Videos

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Can and should Russia stop the war in the Caucasus?

October 09, 2020

THE SAKER • OCTOBER 10, 2020 

This war is officially a war between Azerbaijan and the (unrecognized) Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (RNK) aka “Republic of Artsakh” (ROA) which I shall refer to simply as Nagorno Karabakh or “NK”. As is often the case, the reality is much more complicated. For one thing, Erdogan’s Turkey has been deeply involved since Day 1 (and, really, even much before that) while Armenia has been backing NK to the hilt since the breakup of the Soviet Union. It is even worse: Turkey is a member of NATO while Armenia is a member of the CSTO. Thus a war started over a relatively small and remote area could, in theory, trigger an international nuclear war. The good news here is that nobody in NATO or the CSTO wants such a war, especially since technically speaking the NK is not part of Armenia (Armenia has not even recognized this republic so far!) and, therefore, not under the protection of the CSTO. And since there have been no attacks on Turkey proper, at least so far, NATO also has no reason to get involved.

I should mention here that in terms of international law, NK is an integral part of Azerbaijan. Still, almost everybody agrees that there is a difference between NK proper and the kind of security zone the army of NK created around NK (see map)

Can and should Russia stop the war in the Caucasus?

(note: the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic is part of Azerbaijan)

The reality on the ground, however, is very different, so let’s look at the position of each actor in turn, beginning with the party which started the war: Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan has been reforming and rearming its military since the Azeri forces got comprehensively defeated in the 1988-1994 war. Furthermore, for President Aliev this war represents what might well be the best and last chance to defeat the NK and Armenian forces. Most observers agree that should Aliev fail to achieve at least an appearance of victory he will lose power.

Armenia would have been quite happy to keep the status quo and continue to form one country with the NK de facto while remaining two countries de jure. Still, living in the tough and even dangerous “neighborhood” of the Caucasus, the Armenians never forgot that they are surrounded by more or less hostile countries just like they also remained acutely aware of Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman ideology which, sooner or later, would make war inevitable.

Iran, which is often forgotten, is not directly involved in the conflict, at least so far, but has been generally sympathetic to Armenia, primarily because Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman ideology represents a danger for the entire region, including Iran.

Turkey has played a crucial behind the scenes role in the rearmament and reorganization of Azeri forces. Just as was the case in Libya, Turkish attack drones have been used with formidable effectiveness against NK forces, in spite of the fact that the Armenians have some very decent air defenses. As for Erdogan himself, this war is his latest attempt to paint himself as some kind of neo-Ottoman sultan which will reunite all the Turkic people under his rule.

One of the major misconceptions about this conflict is the assumption that Russia has always been, and will always be, on the side of Armenia and the NK, but while this was definitely true for pre-1917 Russia, this is not the case today at all. Why?

Let’s examine the Russian position in this conflict.

First, let’s get the obvious out of the way: Armenia (proper, as opposed to NK) is a member of the CSTO and should anybody (including Azerbaijan and/or Turkey) attack Armenia, Russia would most definitely intervene and stop the attack, either by political or even by military means. Considering what Turkey has done to the Armenian people during the infamous Armenian Genocide of 1914-1923 this makes perfectly good sense: at least now the Armenian people know that Russia will never allow another genocide to take place. And the Turks know that too.

And yet, things are not quite that simple either.

For example, Russia did sell a lot of advanced weapon systems to Azerbaijan (see herefor one good example). In fact, relations between Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev are famously very warm. And while it is true that Azerbaijan left the CSTO in 1999, Russia and Azerbaijan have retained a very good relationship which some even characterize as a partnership or even an alliance.

Furthermore, Azerbaijan has been a much better partner to Russia than Armenia, especially since the Soros-financed “color revolution” of 2018 which put Nikol Pashinian in power. Ever since Pashinian got to power, Armenia has been following the same kind of “multi-vector” policy which saw Belarus’ Lukashenko try to ditch Russia and integrate into the EU/NATO/US area of dominance. The two biggest differences between Belarus and Armenia are a) Belarusians and Russians are the same people and b) Russia cannot afford to lose Belarus whereas Russia has really zero need for Armenia.

On the negative side, not only has Azerbaijan left the CSTO in 1999, but Azerbaijan has also joined the openly anti-Russian GUAM Organization (which is headquartered in Kiev).

Next, there is the Turkey-Erdogan factor as seen from Russia. Simply put, the Russians will never trust any Turk who shares Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman worldview and ideology. Russia has already fought twelve full-scale wars against the Ottomans and she has no desire to let the Turks trigger another one (which they almost did when they shot down a Russian Su-24M over northern Syria). Of course, Russia is much more powerful than Turkey, at least in military terms, but in political terms an open war against Turkey could be disastrous for Russian foreign and internal policy objectives. And, of course, the best way for Russia to avoid such a war in the future is to make absolutely sure that the Turks realize that should they attack they will be suffering a crushing defeat in a very short time. So far, this has worked pretty well, especially after Russia saved Erdogan from the US-backed coup against him.

Some observers have suggested that Russia and Armenia being Christian, the former has some kind of moral obligation towards the latter. I categorically disagree. My main reason to disagree here is that Russians now are acutely aware of the disgusting lack of gratitude of our (supposed) “brothers” and (supposed) “fellow Christians” have shown as soon as Russia was in need.

Most Armenians are not Orthodox Christians, but members of the Armenian Apostolic Church, which are miaphysites/monophysites. They are also not Slavs.

The ONLY slavic or Orthodox people who did show real gratitude for Russia have been the Serbs. All the rest of them have immediately rushed to prostitute themselves before Uncle Shmuel and have competed with each other for the “honor” of deploying US weapons systems targeted at Russia. The truth is that like every superpower, Russia is too big and too powerful to have real “friends” (Serbia being a quite beautiful exception to this rule). The Russian Czar Alexander III famously said that “Russia only has two true allies: her army and her navy”. Well, today the list is longer (now we could add the Aerospace forces, the FSB, etc.), but in terms of external allies or friends, the Serbian people (as opposed to some of the Serbian leaders) are the only ones out there which are true friends of Russia (and that, in spite of the fact that under Elstin and his “democratic oligarchs” Russia shamefully betrayed a long list of countries and political leaders, including Serbia).

Then there is the religious factor which, while crucial in the past, really plays no role whatsoever in this conflict. Oh sure, political leaders on both sides like to portray themselves as religious, but this is just PR. The reality is that both the Azeris and the Armenians place ethnic considerations far above any religious ones, if only because, courtesy of the militant atheism of the former USSR, many, if not most, people in Armenia, Azerbaijan and even Russia nowadays are agnostic secularists with no more than a passing interest for the “spiritual values which shaped their national identity” (or something along these lines).

One major concern for Russia is the movement of Turkish-run Takfiris from Syria to Azerbaijan. The Russians have already confirmed that this has taken place (the French also reported this) and, if true, that would give Russia the right to strike these Takfiris on Azeri soil. So far, this threat is minor, but if it becomes real, we can expect Russian cruise missiles to enter the scene.

Finally, there are major Azeri and Armenian communities in Russia, which means two things: first, Russia cannot allow this conflict to sneak across the borders and infect Russia and, second, there are millions of Russians who will have ties, often strong ones, to both of these countries.

Though they are not currently officially involved, we still need to look, at least superficially, at the Empire’s view of this conflict. To summarize it I would say that the Empire is absolutely delighted with this crisis which is the third one blowing up on Russia’s doorstep (the other two being the Ukraine and Belarus). There is really very little the Empire can do against Russia: the economic blockade and sanctions totally failed, and in purely military terms Russia is far more powerful than the Empire. Simply put: the Empire simply does not have what it takes to take on Russia directly, but setting off conflicts around the Russia periphery is really easy.

For one thing, the internal administrative borders of the USSR bear absolutely no resemblance to the places of residence of the various ethnicities of the former Soviet Union. Looking at them one would be excused for thinking that they were drawn precisely to generate the maximal amount of tension between the many ethnic groups that were cut into separate pieces. There is also no logic in accepting the right of the former Soviet Republics to secede from the Soviet Union, but then denying the same right to those local administrative entities which now would want to separate from a newly created republic which they don’t want to be part of.

Second, many, if not most, of the so-called “countries” and “nations” which suddenly appeared following the collapse of the Soviet Union have no historical reality whatsoever. As a direct result, these newborn “nations” had no historical basis to root themselves in, and no idea what independence really means. Some nations, like the Armenians, have deep roots as far back as antiquity, but their current borders are truly based on nothing at all. Whatever may be the case, it has been extremely easy for Uncle Shmuel to move into these newly independent states, especially since many (or even most) of these states saw Russia as the enemy (courtesy of the predominant ideology of the Empire which was imposed upon the mostly clueless people of the ex-Soviet periphery). The result? Violence, or even war, all around that periphery (which the Russians think of as their “near abroad”).

I think that most Russian people are aware that while there has been a major price to pay for this, the cutting away of the ex-Soviet periphery from Russia has been a blessing in disguise. This is confirmed by innumerable polls which show that the Russian people are generally very suspicious of any plans involving the use of the Russian Armed Forces outside Russia (for example, it took all of Putin’s “street cred” to convince the Russian people that the Russian military intervention in Syria was a good idea).

There is also one more thing which we must always remember: for all the stupid US and western propaganda about Russia and, later, the USSR being the “prison of the people” (small nations survived way better in this “prison” than they did under the “democratic” rule of European colonists worldwide!), the truth is that because of the rabidly russophobic views of Soviet Communists (at least until Stalin – he reversed this trend) the Soviet “peripheral” Republics all lived much better than the “leftover Russia” which the Soviets called the RSFSR. In fact, the Soviet period was a blessing in many ways for all the non-Russian republics of the Soviet Union and only now, under Putin, has this trend finally been reversed. Today Russia is much richer than the countries around her periphery and she has no desire to squander that wealth on a hostile and always ungrateful periphery. The bottom line is this: Russia owes countries such as Armenia or Azerbaijan absolutely nothing and they have no right whatsoever to expect Russia to come to their aid: this won’t happen, at least not unless Russia achieves a measurable positive result from this intervention.

Still, let’s now look at the reasons why Russia might want to intervene.

First, this is, yet again, a case of Erdogan’s megalomania and malevolence resulting in a very dangerous situation for Russia. After all, all the Azeris need to do to secure an overt Turkish intervention is to either attack Armenia proper, which might force a Russian intervention or, alternatively, be so severely beaten by the Armenians that Turkey might have to intervene to avoid a historical loss of face for both Aliev and Erdogan.

Second, it is crucial for Russia to prove that the CSTO matters and is effective in protecting CSTO member states. In other words, if Russia lets Turkey attack Armenia directly the CSTO would lose all credibility, something which Russia cannot allow.

Third, it is crucial for Russia to prove to both Azerbaijan and Armenia that the US is long on hot air and empty promises, but can’t get anything done in the Caucasus. In other words, the solution to this war has to be a Russian one, not a US/NATO/EU one. Once it becomes clear in the Caucasus that, like in the Middle-East, Russia has now become the next “kingmaker” then the entire region will finally return to peace and a slow return to prosperity.

So far the Russians have been extremely careful in their statements. They mostly said that Russian peacekeepers could only be deployed after all the parties to this conflict agree to their deployment. Right now, we are still very far away from this.

Here is what happened so far: the Azeris clearly hoped for a short and triumphant war, but in spite of very real advances in training, equipment, etc the Azeri Blitzkrieg has clearly failed in spite of the fact that the Azeri military is more powerful than the NK+Armenian one. True, the Azeris did have some initial successes, but they all happened in small towns mostly located in the plain. But take a look at this topographic map of the area of operations and see for yourself what the biggest problem for the Azeris is:

Almost all of NK is located in the mountains (hence the prefix “nagorno” which means “mountainous”) and offensive military operations in the mountains are truly a nightmare, even for very well prepared and equipped forces (especially in the winter season, which is fast approaching). There are very few countries out there who could successfully conduct offensive operations in mountains, Russia is one of them, and Azerbaijan clearly is not.

Right now both sides agree on one thing only: only total victory can stop this war. While politically that kind of language makes sense, everybody knows that this war will not end up in some kind of total victory for one side and total defeat of the other side. The simple fact is that the Azeris can’t overrun all of NK while the Armenians (in Armenia proper and in the NK) cannot counter-attack and defeat the Azeri military in the plains.

Right now, and for as long as the Azeris and the Armenians agree that they won’t stop at anything short of a total victory, Russia simply cannot intervene. While she has the military power to force both sides to a total standstill, she has no legal right to do so and please remember that, unlike the US, Russia does respect international law (if only because she has no plans to become the “next US” or some kind of world hegemon in charge of maintaining the peace worldwide). So there are only two possible options for a Russian military intervention:

  1. A direct (and confirmed by hard evidence) attack on the territory of Armenia
  2. Both the Azeris and the Armenians agree that Russia ought to intervene.

I strongly believe that Erdogan and Aliev will do whatever it takes to prevent option one from happening (while they will do everything in their power short of an overt attack on Armenia to prevail). Accidents, however, do happen, so the risk of a quick and dramatic escalation of the conflict will remain until both sides agree to stop.

Right now, neither side has a clear victory and, as sad as I am to write these words, both sides have enough reserves (not only military, but also political and economic) to keep at it for a while longer. However, neither side has what it would take to wage a long and bloody positional war of attrition, especially in the mountain ranges. Thus both sides probably already realize that this one will have to stop, sooner rather than later (according to some Russian experts, we are only talking weeks here).

Furthermore, there are a lot of very dangerous escalations taking place, including artillery and missile strikes on cities and infrastructure objects. If the Armenians are really pushed against a wall, they could both recognize NK and hit the Azeri energy and oil/gas infrastructure with their formidable Iskander tactical ballistic missiles. Should that happen, then we can be almost certain that both the Azeris and the Turks will try to attack Armenia, with dramatic and most dangerous consequences.

This conflict can get much, much more bloody and much more dangerous. It is thus in the interests of the entire region (but not the US) to stop it. Will the Armenian lobby be powerful enough to pressure the US into a more helpful stance? So far, the US is, at least officially, calling all sides for a ceasefire (along with France and Russia), but we all know how much Uncle Shmuel’s word can be trusted. At least there is no public evidence that the US is pushing for war behind the scenes (the absence of such evidence does, of course, not imply the evidence of the absence of such actions!).

At the time of writing this (Oct. 9th) Russia has to wait for the parties to come back to reality and accept a negotiated solution. If and when that happens, there are options out there, including making NK a special region of Azerbaijan which would be placed under the direct protection of Russia and/or the CSTO with Russian forces deployed inside the NK region. It would even be possible to have a Turkish military presence all around the NK (and even some monitors inside!) to reassure the Azeris that Armenian forces have left the region and are staying out. The Azeris already know that they cannot defeat Armenia proper without risking a Russian response and they are probably going to realize that they cannot overrun NK. As for the Armenians, it is all nice and fun to play the “multi-vector” card, but Russia won’t play by these rules anymore. Her message here is simple: if you are Uncle Shmuels’s bitch, then let Uncle Shmuel save you; if you want us to help, then give us a really good reason why: we are listening”.

This seems to me an eminently reasonable position to take and I hope and believe that Russia will stick to it.

PS: the latest news is that Putin invited the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia to Moscow for “consultations” (not “negotiations”, at least not yet) with Sergei Lavrov as a mediator. Good. Maybe this can save lives since a bad peace will always be better than a good war.

PPS: the latest news (Oct 9th 0110 UTC) is that the Russians have forced Armenia and Azerbaijan to negotiate for over thirteen hours, but at the end of the day, both sides agreed to an immediate ceasefire and for substantive negotiations to begin. Frankly, considering the extreme hostility of the parties towards each other, I consider this outcome almost miraculous. Lavrov truly earned his keep today! Still, we now have to see if Russia can convince both sides to actually abide by this agreement. Here is a machine translation of the first Russian report about this outcome:

Statement by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia

In response to the appeal of the President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin and in accordance with the agreements of the President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan I.G. Aliyev and Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia N.V. Pashinyan, the parties agreed on the following steps :

1. A ceasefire is declared from 12:00 pm on October 10, 2020 for humanitarian purposes for the exchange of prisoners of war and other detained persons and bodies of the dead, mediated and in accordance with the criteria of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

2. The specific parameters of the ceasefire regime will be agreed upon additionally.

3. The Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia, with the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, on the basis of the basic principles of the settlement, begin substantive negotiations with the aim of reaching a peaceful settlement as soon as possible.

4. The parties confirm the invariability of the format of the negotiation process.

Armenia and Azerbaijan agree to Russian peace talks

By News Desk -2020-10-09

BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:00 A.M.) – The spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova confirmed to reporters that Azerbaijan and Armenia have agreed to participate  in the consultations that will be held in Moscow on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

Zakharova said, “Baku and Yerevan have confirmed their participation in the consultations in Moscow, and preparations for the meeting are underway.”

On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for an end to hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh for humanitarian reasons, in order to exchange bodies and prisoners.

A number of countries, including Russia and France, called on both parties to the conflict to show restraint.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan also held a phone conversation last Sunday, during which they indicated the importance of making every effort to prevent an escalation in Karabakh.

On September 27, the military clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan renewed, resulting in the deadliest series of fighting since the 1993 conflict.

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Leader’s aide calls on Armenia to retreat from Azerbaijani territory

Source

October 6, 2020 – 15:20

TEHRAN – Ali Akbar Velayati, a top foreign policy adviser to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, has called on Armenia to return the occupied parts of the Republic of Azerbaijan, including seven cities.

“The war between Azerbaijan and Armenia, two neighbors of Iran, and some developments such as the involvement of the Zionist regime, Turkey and Takfiri terrorist group in this war and the occasional firing of bullets and mortars toward Iran’s soil are among concerning issues that must be immediately stopped,” Mehr on Tuesday quoted Velayati as saying.

Velayati, who made the remarks in an interview with the Keyhan newspaper published on Tuesday, said Iran respects all countries’ territorial integrity and the principles of the UN Charter, pointing out that the territory of one country is occupied by another country in this case.

Velayati says “the involvement of the Zionist regime, Turkey and the Takfiri terrorist group” in the Nagorno-Karabakh war “are among concerning issues that must be immediately stopped.”

Four UN resolutions have been adopted in this regard, all of which require the Armenians to leave and return to the international borders, said Velayati who was Iran’s foreign minister from 1981-1997.

“All of us who are members of the United Nations must abide by those principles. Therefore, we want Armenia to return these occupied parts to the Republic of Azerbaijan,” Velayati stated.

“More than one million Azerbaijanis have been displaced by the occupation of these areas and must return to their homeland soon. Just as we oppose the occupation of Palestine by the Zionist regime, we have the same position here,” he added.

Heavy clashes have been underway since late last month between Azerbaijani and Armenian military forces over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. Both sides blame each other for initiating the fighting in the Caucasus Mountains.

Hundreds have been killed since the recent fighting erupted, making it the worst spate of fighting between the two former Soviet republics since the 1990s.

Azerbaijan and Armenia have been locked in a conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region for years. Although a ceasefire was agreed in 1994, Baku and Yerevan continue to accuse each other of shooting attacks around the enclave.

“The solution is by no means military, but must be resolved politically,” Velayati said. “Therefore, we oppose any military action by anyone. Because the losers of this war are the people, especially since the residential areas have been bombed lately.”

He also described the war as against the interests of the people of the two countries and the security of the region. “Some outsiders are also increasing tensions, such as the Zionist regime and Turkey,” he said.

“The Zionist regime itself is illegitimate and is based on the occupation of other territories, namely Palestine, and it has no right to comment on these matters at all,” the adviser said. “This regime does nothing but inciting sedition in this region.”

Velayati also underlined Iran’s readiness to offer assistance for mediation and peace between the two neighboring countries.

“We firmly believe that peace will be established in the interests of both countries,” the former chief diplomat added.

MH/PA

Video: A Conspiracy Against Armenia? The Role of the Pashinyan Government

By South Front

Global Research, October 07, 2020

South Front 6 October 2020

The Armed Forces of Azerbaijan supported by Turkey continue their large-scale offensive to capture the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region from Armenian forces. Following the gains of the previous days, when Azerbaijani forces captured the towns of Talish, Jabrayil and Mataghis, they developed momentum in the Jabrayil district capturing the villages of Shikhali Agali, Sari jali, and Mezre, and several other hill tops, according to the country’s president Ilham Aliyev.

Currently, Azerbaijani forces are working to consolidate their gains and conduct artillery and air strikes on positions of the Armenians preparing for a further offensive. So, the Azerbaijani advance slowed down due to weather conditions. The bad weather in the area complicates the usage of combat drones and aviation.

Meanwhile, forces of the Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh Republic announced that they had carried out ‘powerful’ retaliation strikes on territory of Azerbaijan. Armenian sources insist that after the strikes, several hundred thousand residents of different cities of Azerbaijan have been fleeing in panic to Baku. The Armenian military claimed that Azerbaijan paid a heavy price for the recent gains. According to it, Armenian forces inflicted to the ‘enemy’ 3154 casualties and destroyed 368 armoured vehicles, 4 rocket launchers, 124 UAVs, 17 military planes and 14 helicopters. The Armenian side emphasizes that Azerbaijani forces have been extensively bombing civilian targets, including the largest Karabakh city, Stepanakert. Azerbaijan denounces these claims as blatant propaganda.Video Player

The ongoing Azerbaijani advance is not only supported by Turkey and involves Turkish military specialists, special forces and military equipment, but also became another case of the employment of Turkish-backed Syrian militants.Video: Azerbaijan-Turkey Alliance Is Taking “Upper Hand” in War with Armenia

On October 5, Russia’s state-run news agency RIA reported citing its own sources that at least 93 Turkish-backed militants had been killed since the start of the war on September 27. The report added that at least 450 more militants were deployed to the combat zone last weekend. This was reportedly the third batch of Syrian militants deployed to the area.

The Turkish-Azerbaijani bloc has been taking an upper hand in the battle against Armenian forces. The decisive role belongs to the air dominance and the numerical superiority of the Azerbaijani side. The only current advantage of Armenian forces is the low quality of Azerbaijani infantry and Turkish-backed Syrian militants involved in the ground advance as well as the low planning and management skills of the ground phase of the Azerbaijani operation.

Azerbaijani infantry and motorized units marching towards fortified positions of Armenians become an easy target for counter-attacks, artillery and missile strikes. This reminds one of the approaches employed by Turkey in Syria and Libya, when Ankara was sending waves of cannon fodder (consisting of members of various militant groups) to capture positions of the ‘enemy’, while Turkish special forces, artillery and air power were doing the main job.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of Armenia are not employing all the variety of means and measures that they have to fight back the advancing Azerbaijani military. Despite the loud propaganda about the Armenian key role in resisting to the ‘terror alliance’ of Turkey and Azerbaijan, the Pashinyan government has no political will to recognize the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and go for a full-scale war to defend Armenian population there.

Thus, the participation of the official Armenian military in supporting forces of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (as it remains a de-facto independent state with its own military forces) are limited as of now. This raises reasonable questions regarding the real goals of the Pashinyan government. Experts say that in fact what it aims is to achieve are the goals of his government’s foreign patrons in the Washington establishment thus losing Karabakh and using this as a pretext to break its remaining ties with Russia and push the country towards its integration with NATO.

On October 5, Pashinyan publicly admitted that the situation on the frontline is “complicated” and called on servicemen demobilized a year ago to rejoin the Armed Forces. The prime minister said that he was calling them not to a simple service, but to the battle “between life and death”. Pashinyan also declared that he is confident in Armenian victory.

Nonetheless, the mobilization of reservists showcases that the real situation is much more complicated than everyone wants to admit. Moreover, just fresh troops, without modern weapons, experienced commanders and instructors, will not be able to turn the tide of the conflict. In the worst case scenario, this may just increase casualties on the Armenian side.

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لماذا إيران ليست مع أذربيجان…!؟

محمد صادق الحسيني

بصراحة واختصار لأنّ أذربيجان مع الشيطان…!

هذا هو جواب الذين يتساءلون، لماذا لا تقف إيران الى جانب أذربيجان، بما انّ أذربيجان دولة مسلمة وشيعية ولديها أراض محتلة لدى أرمينيا (غير قره باغ التي هي إقليم حكم ذاتي مستقل، فهناك أراض سيطرت عليها أرمينيا خلال حرب ١٩٩٤، منها بلدة جبرائيل التي زعمت أذربيجان انها استرجعتها اخيراً) فلماذا إذن إيران لا تقف معها وتساندها…!؟

سؤال مهمّ نحاول الإجابة عنه هنا بكلّ موضوعية ومسؤولية وإليكم البراهين:

١– انّ إيران تقف بقوّة مثلها مثل كثير من الدول الى جانب هذا الحق للشعب الأذربيجاني، والذي ضمنه لها أيضاً قرار أممي اعترفت به معظم دول العالم.

٢– انّ جمهورية أذربيجان الحالية تعتبر واحدة من الدول الغارقة في الفساد والمتحالفة تحالفاً عميقاً مع الكيان الصهيوني قلباً وقالباً منذ إعلانها دولة مستقلة بعد انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي السابق، ويتحكم في قرارها نحو ٤٠ مليونير يهودي من الأقلية القليلة جداً الأذربيجانية لكنها التي تحيط بالرئيس الحالي الهام علييف، وهي التي توفر له حالياً الجسر الجوي الصهيوني من مسيّرات وتسليح متعدّد الأهداف، بالإضافة إلى تدريب مرتزقة أجانب وإرسالهم إلى باكو..!

٣– انّ جمهورية أذربيجان الحالية تلعب دوراً قذراً وخطيراً جداً تجاه الجمهورية الإسلامية حيث تحتضن ومعها تركيا مجموعات من الانفصاليين الأذربيجانيين الإيرانيين (من القسم الأصلي لأذربيجان الذي لا يزال في حضن الدولة الأمّ بعد انفصال جمهورية أذربيجان الحالية مع أرمينيا وجورجيا التي كانت أراضي إيرانية تمّ سلخها عن الوطن الأمّ في نهاية الحرب الثانية بين روسيا القيصرية وإيران القاجارية عام ١٨٢٨).

وهم الذين تحضّرهم الآن حكومتا أنقرة وباكو ليلعبوا دوراً تخريبياً على الحدود الإيرانية، بهدف تمزيق وتجزئة إيران وإشعال حرب قوميات فيها، في حال نجحتا في توسيع نطاق حرب القوقاز الحالية واستدراج إيران إليها…!

٤– انّ أذربيجان دولة قرارها ليس بيدها، والحرب الحالية التي يتمّ تسعيرها تحت غطاء حق قره باغ في الحكم الذاتي ضمن نطاق جمهورية أذربيجان كما تنصّ المقررات الدولية واسترجاع أراض محتلة لها، إنما تمّ شنّها بأمر عمليات أميركي ودعم جزء من الأطلسي وبرأس حربة أردوغانية خبيثة هدفها التحشيد ضدّ روسيا وإيران والصين، ومحاولة استنساخ سيناريو سوري من خلال عمليات نقل وتثبيت عصابات إرهابية تكفيرية من جنسيات ذات أصول سوفياتية وصينية وقوقازية في كلّ جمهوريات القوقاز وفي مقدّمها أذربيجان، بهدف السيطرة على منابع النفط والغاز والطرق الاستراتيجية التي تعيق عمليات الدفاع لثلاثي القوة الصاعد المناهض للأحادية والهيمنة الأميركية أيّ روسيا والصين وإيران في أيّ مواجهة مرتقبة.

وهي عملية هيّأت لها تركيا بنقل مستشاريها الى باكو قبل اندلاع النزاع الحالي تحت عنوان مناورات مشتركة وأبقتهم هناك، بالإضافة الى القيام بعمليات نقل واسعة لمجموعات إرهابية من سورية بتمويل قطري.

٥– انّ حكومة باكو تلعب دور المطية والأداة الطيعة بيد أردوغان الذي سيستخدمها في أيّ مقايضات مستقبلية دولية بين القوى المتصارعة في البحرين الأسود والخزر وكذلك شرق المتوسط حيث تحاول أنقرة أخذ موقع لها مستجدّ هناك، في ظلّ تحشيدات الناتو والأميركي اللذين يقاتلان قتالاً تراجعياً بعد هزائمهما المتكرّرة أمام أسوار وبوابات عواصم محور المقاومة تاركين المجال لأدواتهم الصغار ليملأوا الفراغ…!

٦– انّ سياسة الجمهورية الإسلامية الخارجية لا تقوم مطلقاً على قواعد طائفية او مذهبية في كافة الملفات الدولية والإقليمية، وإنما على قواعد العدالة والقانون الدولي ونصرة المستضعفين أينما كانوا، ومقاومة الظلم والهيمنة والتسلط من اي طرف جاؤوا…

اخيراً لا بدّ من القول بأنّ الطغمة الحاكمة حالياً في أذربيجان هي من بقايا الحزب الشيوعي السوفياتي السابق والتي باتت الآن منقسمة على نفسها بين الرئيس الهام علييف المشهور بالفساد والذي ربط مصالحه الشخصية بأنقرة واستلحاقاً بالغرب من بوابة تل ابيب، فيما زوجته مهربان التي تشغل موقع نائب الرئيس في الجمهورية والتي تترأس جمعية الصداقة الأذربيجانية الروسية وهي التي قلدها الرئيس بوتين أعلى وسام للصداقة في موسكو قبل أشهر، تتمايز عنه بعض الشيء في ميلها نحو موسكو، وهي التي أطاحت بوزير خارجية بلادها ورئيس هيئة الأركان قبل مدة بعد اتهامهما بتغليب مصالح الخارج على مصالح الداخل، ما اعتبر زعزعة للأمن القومي الأذربيجاني!

أما حكاية دعم إيران لجمهورية أرمينيا المسيحية في المقابل فهي حكاية منقوصة التداول…

فإيران لا تصطفّ مع أرمينيا ضدّ أذربيجان في الصراع حول قره باغ، وإنما تحترم وتقدّر دور جمهورية أرمينيا باعتبارها دولة مستقلة تمارس سياسة متوازنة في القوقاز، ولا تساهم مطلقاً في زعزعة استقرار المنطقة، تماماً كما هو دور المواطنين الأرمن الإيرانيين الشرفاء الذين كانوا ولا يزالون يلعبون دوراً ايجابياً في الدفاع عن سلامة واستقرار واستقلال ووحدة أراضي بلدهم ووطنهم إيران، رغم حمايتهم وحبهم وعشقهم لوطنهم الأمّ أرمينيا.

لتجدنّ أشدّ الناس عداوة للذين آمنوا اليهود…

ولتجدنّ أقرب الناس مودة للذين آمنوا الذين قالوا انا نصارى… وانهم لا يستكبرون…

المعيار إذن هو الموقف من مقولة الاستكبار والمستكبرين.

سئل الإمام علي: كيف تعرف أهل الحق في زمن الفتن، فقال: اتبعوا سهام العدو، فإنها ترشدكم إلى أهل الحق.

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

AZERBAIJANI-TURKISH ALLIANCE IS TAKING UPPER HAND IN WAR WITH ARMENIA

SOURCE

Azerbaijani-Turkish Alliance Is Taking Upper Hand In War With Armenia
VIDEO

Azerbaijan is slowly but steadily gaining an upper hand in the war with Armenia for the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region.

As of October 5, the Azerbaijani military, supported by Turkish military advisers, specialists and intelligence, captured the towns of Jabrayil, Mataghis and Talysh after heavy clashes with Armenian forces. Azerbaijani sources also report the control over multiple villages including Ashagi Abdulrahmanli, Mehdili, Chakhirli, Ashagi Maralyan, Sheybey and Kuyjagh. On the other hand, the Armenian side confirmed that it lost ‘some positions’ but did not provide details claiming that the situation on the frontline has been rapidly changing.

Stepanakert, the capital of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, other populated areas and civilian targets in the region have become a target of regular rocket, artillery and drone strikes. The Azerbaijani military extensively uses cluster munitions, heavy artillery, rocket launchers and even Israeli LORA theater quasiballistic missiles while simultaneously accusing Armenia of intentionally striking civilian targets in Azerbaijan.

For example, on October 4, the government of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic announced that Armenian forces had destroyed the military air base near Azerbaijan’s Ganja. This air base, according to the Armenian side, hosted F-16 fighter jets from Turkey. Azerbaijan indirectly confirmed the incident but insisted that Armenian strikes hit Ganja city only. In its own turn, the Armenian military denounced the Azerbaijani claim saying that only the military base that was hit.

In the comments from October 4, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev claimed that Azerbaijani forces are “chasing” Armenians like “dogs” and demanded the full withdrawal of Armenian forces, the Armenian recognition of Karabakh as a sovereign Azerbaijani territory and an official apology from Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to the Azerbaijani nation.

On top of this, Aliyev emphasized that a military solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh question is on the table and criticized 28 years of unsuccessful negotiations. In his remarks, Aliyev apparently cosplayed Turkish neo-Ottomanist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that over the past years has been used to employ rhetoric of this kind and provide a hard power-based realpolitik in the Greater Middle East. Turkey is a natural strategic ally of Azerbaijan and extensively backs it in its war with Armenia.

A day earlier, on October 3, the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan made his own address regarding the war saying that Nagorno-Karabakh has been fighting against “an Azerbaijani-Turkish terrorist attack, the volume and scale of which is unprecedented.” He said that the Azerbaijani operation is controlled by “150 high level Turkish military officers” and claimed that the end of the current conflict can only be victory on the Armenian side. As for now, it does not look that this forecast is realistic.

The ongoing Armenian-Azerbaijani war has likely become the first military conflict of such a scale between two state actors of a comparable power. After the first week of war, it was already clear that the final number of casualties will be counted in the thousands.

While so far the Azerbaijani side has not demonstrated any miracles in ground warfare, it has once again demonstrated a successful employment of the concept of the wide-scale usage of unmanned aerial vehicles: reconnaissance, aerial targets, loitering munitions and drones carrying bombs and missiles. This allows the Azerbaijani side, with an apparent help from Turkey, to successfully detect, uncover and strike Armenian artillery and fortified positions. Regardless the reality of Armenian claims about the supposed usage of Turkish F-16 jets to cover the employed UAVs, the Azerbaijani side has gained full control over the air dimension.

In its own turn, Armenia had time to conduct extensive engineering work preparing a wide network of fortified positions across the region. This allows Armenian forces to keep their positions in many areas despite the air dominance of Azerbaijan. Up to 80% of casualties on both sides are a result of rocket, artillery or air strikes.

Nonetheless, forces of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republics and Armenian units (which Erevan calls ‘volunteers’) are an underdog in the event of a large-scale prolonged conflict with the Azerbaijani-Turkish bloc, even if Armenia openly enters the conflict. Therefore, the outcome of the war will significantly depend on the ability of Azerbaijan (with help from Turkey and its mercenaries/militants) to use its air and numerical advantage to develop the advance and make some gains while the regional diplomatic situation allows this. The balance of power could also change if some third party would intervene in the conflict to put an end to the violence. Such an action could become a response to some irrefutable evidence of ethnic cleansing of the Armenian population in the areas of Azerbaijan or the increasing deployment of members of various Middle Eastern terrorist groups to the region.

Related News

الأطلسي في القوقاز بعد خسارته المتوسط والخليج…!

محمد صادق الحسيني

يحاول الأميركي الذي تهشمت صورته الدولية وانكسرت كلّ موجاته المتتالية على بوابات الشام وتخوم بغداد وأسوار صنعاء… بعد أن عجز في شرق المتوسط، وفشل في هرمز، فضلاّ عن باب المندب في تحقيق اختراق مهمّ ضدّ محور المقاومة وتحالف القوى المناهضة للأحادية الأميركية…

نقل مسرح عملياته إلى القوقاز عبر مخلبه العثماني لتحقيق الأهداف التالية:

١ – تحويل القوقاز إلى جسر عبور لقوات الناتو من البحر الأسود الى بحر الخزر لإعاقة دفاعات القوات الروسية عبر نهر الفولغا (خط الدفاع الأول في صدّ أيّ حرب عالمية)

٢ – محاولة ربط أربيل المتحالفة مع تل أبيب بباكو المتحالفة هي الأخرى مع الكيان الصهيوني عبر الحاضنة التركية الأردوغانية لوضع إيران (شمال غرب) في وضع قوس او هلال يُطبق على القوة الإيرانية الصاعدة حاملة مشروع العبور الى فلسطين لتحريرها.

٣ – حماية خطوط نقل الغاز الأذربيجانية والطرق السريعة التي تنطلق من باكو عبر جورجيا وصولاً الى تركيا.

واليكم تفاصيل الأهداف المباشرة والبعيدة المدى للعدوان الأميركي الاطلسي (العثماني) الإسرائيلي على القوقاز:

ليست هي المرة الأولى، التي تحاول فيها قوى الاستعمار الغربية السيطرة على منطقة القوقاز، لأسباب استراتيجية واقتصادية، بسبب امتلاكها كميات كبيرة من النفط، في اربعينيات القرن الماضي، مضافاً اليها الغاز في القرن الحالي.

اذ انّ زعيم الرايخ الثالث، ادولف هتلر، قد وقع أمراً عسكرياً، بشنّ حملة عسكرية لاحتلال منطقة القوقاز كاملة، وذلك بتاريخ ٢٨ / ٦ /١٩٤٢، أسماها: الحملة الزرقاء او المهمة الزرقاء بلغة هتلر الالمانية.

وقد جرّد هتلر لهذه الحملة القوات التالية:

– مليون جندي ألماني.

– ألف ومائتين وثلاثة وستين دبابة.

– سبعة عشر ألفاً وخمسة وثلاثين مدفع ميدان.

– ألف وستمائة وأربعين قاذفة قنابل ومقاتلة اعتراضية.

ولكن كلّ هذه القوات عجزت عن تحقيق ايّ تقدم، في المعركة التي استمرت من ٢٨/٦/١٩٤٢ وانتهت بتاريخ ١٩/١١/١٩٤٢، عندما نجحت الجيوش السوفياتية بتدمير كلّ القوات المُشار إليها أعلاه وفرض الحصار الشامل على الجيش السادس الألماني، في منطقة ستالينغراد، ذلك الحصار الذي انتهى بتدمير الجيش الألماني السادس (بقيادة مارشال الدبابات الالماني باولوس) وإبادته بالكامل وتحرير منطقة ستالينغراد.

ان ما يجري حالياً، من عدوان أميركي أطلسي، عبر مشاركة تركيا المباشرة فيه، إسرائيلي سعودي خليجي، ليس سوى نسخة عن حملة هتلر الزرقاء، ذات الأهداف القريبة جداً من أهداف النازية الالمانية، لا بل هي اكثر شموليةً من اهداف المانيا النازية.

نقول ذلك لانّ ما يجري حالياً، من عدوان شامل على جمهورية أرمينيا، عبر الرئيس الأذري، إلهام علييڤ وزوجته مِهربان التي عيّنها نائبةً له، وهما الأكثر فساداً في العالم، لا يمكن وصفه (العدوان) بحربٍ او نزاعٍ بين أرمينيا وأذربيجان وإنما هو عدوان شامل، على منطقة القوقاز وما بعد بعد القوقاز.

اذ انّ هذا العدوان، حسب ما أفادت مصادر استخبارية مختصة ومتخصصة بشؤون القوقاز ومستندة الى معلومات دقيقةٍ، ميدانيةً والكترونية، يستهدف المحاور التالية:

أولاً: إيران.

انّ أهمّ الأهداف الفورية، التي تطمح قوى العدوان الأميركي الأطلسي الإسرائيلي الى تحقيقها، هي جرّ إيران الى حرب إقليمية في منطقة القوقاز وشمال غرب إيران على وجه الخصوص، وذلك لاستنزافها في حرب لا ناقة لها فيها ولا جمل. فالقصف المدفعي الذي تعرّضت له بلدة محمد صالح، في محافظة، خدا آفارين الحدودية الإيرانية أكثر من مرة، منذ بدأ العمليات العسكرية في منطقة ناغورنو كاراباخ، لم يكن قصفاً عن طريق الخطأ، سواء البشري او الحسابي، بل انه كان عملية قصف مدفعي مبرمج نفذتها بطارية مدافع هاون يديرها ضباط مدفعية «إسرائيليون»، في داخل الأراضي الأذرية، بهدف استدراج ردّ مدفعي إيراني توريطاً للأخيرة. وما التسريبات التي تنشرها المصادر الاستخبارية «الإسرائيلية» والخليجية/ السعودية، حول استنفار الحرس الثوري الإيراني، وتجهيزه لكتيبة مدفعية ميدان وكتيبة دبابات للردّ على مصادر النيران، إلا دليلاً اضافياً على أهداف العدوان.

ثانياً: روسيا.

انّ روسيا اليوم مستهدفةً، تماماً كما كان الاتحاد السوفياتي مستهدفاً آنذاك، خاصة اذا ما اخذنا بعين الاعتبار قيام الولايات المتحدة وحلف شمال الاطلسي، بضخ آلاف من عناصر داعش المسلحين، عبر تركيا الى أذربيجان، وتسريبها من هناك الى كافة مناطق القوقاز وما بعد القوقاز، ايّ شرقاً باتجاه اوزبكستان وتركمانستان وقرغيزيا وطاجيكستان قرب الحدود الصينيه، ثم شمالاً، باتجاه الجمهوريات الاتحادية الروسية، مثل جمهورية داغستان والشيشان وإنغوشيا وجمهورية شمال أوسيتيا وجمهورية كاباردينو / بالكاريا / وجمهورية الشركس، وكلها جمهوريات من جمهوريات الاتحاد الروسي. الامر الذي يجعل من خلق حالة عدم استقرار دائمة على حدود روسيا الجنوبية، وربما حتى داخل حدودها الجنوبية، أمراً في غاية الخطورة الاستراتيجية، اذ انّ هذا التهديد قد يصل الى دعم المعسكر الأطلسي الأميركي لمحاولات انفصالية في هذه الجمهوريات، كما حدث في بداية تسعينيات القرن الماضي في جمهورية الشيشان، التي شهدت حربين دمويتين فشلت خلالهما المخططات الاميركية في تحقيق أهدافها. وهو ما يعتبر تهديداً استراتيجياً مباشراً لروسيا لا يمكنها السكوت عليه.

اذن، ها نحن نرى أهداف هذا العدوان تصل الى ما وراء القوقاز، ايّ الى هدف تفتيت الاتحاد الروسي وإخضاع جمهورياته للهيمنة الأميركية الأوروبية، حيث لا بدّ ان نرى هذه المخططات مقترنة مع الجهود الأطلسية الأميركية المتواصلة، لضم أوكرانيا وجورجيا الى عضوية حلف شمال الاطلسي، احكاماً لتطويق روسيا الاستراتيحي، نظراً لما تقوم به دول هذا الحلف، من استفزازات مستمرة ضدّ روسيا، من البحر الأسود جنوباً (محاولات طائرات الاستطلاع والقاذفات الاستراتيجية الأميركية اختراق الأجواء الروسية باستمرار انطلاقاً من قواعدها في تركيا ورومانيا وبلغاريا)، وصولاً الى نفس هذا النمط من الاستفزازات، عبر الأجواء الأوكرانية والبولندية واللتوانية وأجواء لاتفيا واستونيا في الغرب، وصولاً الى مدينة لينينغراد، على بحر البلطيق، شمال غرب روسيا.

ايّ انّ كلّ ما ذكر أعلاه يؤكد انّ الهدف، مما يجري في منطقة كاراباخ، هو تحويل القوقاز الى منطقة عدم استقرار دائم، مما يستنزف طاقات روسيا المالية والعسكرية، في ما لو نجحت قوى العدوان، في التمكن من إقامة وتثبيت بنى تحتية قادرة، لداعش وغيرها من المسمّيات الإرهابية، في أذربيجان بدايةً ليتوسع هذا الوجود الى مناطق أخرى في الخاصرة الجنوبية لروسيا.

ولكن ما فشل في تحقيقه الزعيم النازي الألماني عام ١٩٤٢ لن ينجح في تحقيقه أحفاده الأطلسيين وأتباعهم، من صهاينة وأعراب، لا من خلال هذا العدوان الممنهج ولا من خلال التآمر المساند لهذا العدوان، الذي تمثل في مسرحية «تسميم» المعارض الروسي نافالين، التي تتواصل فصولها حالياً، كما تتواصل مؤامرات نفس غرف العمليات السوداء، في إعداد مؤامرة «تسميم» جديدة في سورية، ليس ضدّ معارض سوري بل ضدّ الشعب السوري في محافظة إدلب بهدف اتهام الجيشين الروسي والسوري بتنفيذ الجريمة التي يخططون لها.

ثالثاً: الصين.

وفي إطار ما تقدّم، من معلومات، مقترنةً بقراءةٍ موضوعيةٍ لهذه المعلومات، لا بدّ لنا أن نؤكد على أنّ جزءاً أساسياً من الجهود التخريبية، التي يجري تنفيذها في جنوب القوقاز، عبر إشعال فتيل الحرب في منطقة كاراباخ، موجه ضدّ جمهورية الصين الشعبية بشكل مباشر أيضاً، وذلك للأسباب التالية:

1 ـ عجز الولايات المتحده ودول حلف شمال الأطلسي معاً، ليس فقط عن مواجهة الصين عسكرياً فحسب، وإنما عجز واشنطن وحلفائها في الاتحاد الأوروبي حتى عن منافسة الصين اقتصادياً، الأمر الذي سيؤدي بالضرورة وبصورة مجردة تماماً الى تربّع الصين على عرش العالم خلال سنوات قليلة. وهو ما يعني إنهاء الهيمنة الاستعمارية الأميركية الأوروبية في العالم أجمع والى غير رجعة.

وبالنظر الى انّ مشروع طريق الحرير الصيني هو أحد أهمّ ركائز سياسة الصين الدولية، على الصعيد الاقتصادي وبالتالي السياسي والعسكري مستقبلاً، وهي السياسة المبنية على المنافسة الاقتصادية الشريفة والابتعاد عن سياسات العدوان وإشعال الحروب، تلافياً لنشأة أوضاع غير مستقرّة لا تساعد على تنمية التعاون الاقتصادي بين الدول، فإنّ الولايات المتحدة قد لجأت الى إشعال فتيل الحروب المتدحرجة في منطقة القوقاز، التي شكلت عقدة أساسية واستراتيجية هامة على الصعيد التجاري والسياسي والعسكري وحتى الديني، في حقبة طريق الحرير الصينية القديمة، التي كانت قائمة منذ سنة ١١٥ قبل الميلاد وحتى بداية القرن الثالث عشر الميلادي، والتي كانت تتمّ عبرها التبادلات التجارية بين الصين وجنوب أوروبا على وجه الخصوص، مارةً بمنطقة القوقاز الشمالي والجنوبي. وهي المناطق التي تحاول واشنطن وأدواتها السيطرة عليها حالياً لعرقلة تنفيذ مشاريع البنى التحتية الضرورية للحركة التجارية، التي هي قيد التبلور على قاعدة مشروع طريق واحد وحزام واحد الصيني العملاق.

وهذا يعني ان الولايات المتحدة، ومن خلال أدواتها الاقليمية، الصهيونية والعثمانية والرجعية العربية تسعى الى السيطرة على كامل منطقة القوقاز الاستراتيجية، وليس فقط إلحاق إقليم ناغورنو كاراباخ بأذربيجان كما يدّعي أردوغان.

من هنا فإنّ من الضروري فهم طبيعة هذا المخطط العدواني على حقيقته، ايّ على انه حلقة مكملة لتطويق الصين الشعبية استراتيجياً. فبالاضافة الى التحرشات والاستفزازات المتواصلة، التي تقوم بها الأساطيل البحرية الأميركية والأوروبية، كالقوة المسماة «قوة حماية التجارة الدولية» وغيرها، في بحر الصين الجنوبي، وبحار الصين الأخرى، وشرق المحيط الهندي وغرب المحيط الهادئ (الممتدة من جزيرة غوام حتى بحر الفلبين وجزيرة تايوان الصينية المنشقة)، بالاضافة الى هذه التحرشات ومثيلاتها الجوية، المنطلقة من القواعد الأميركية في اليابان وكوريا الجنوبية وقواعد المحيط الهندي، نجد ان الخبراء الاستراتيجيين الأميركيين، وفي ظل عجزهم عن المواجهة العسكرية المباشرة، في جنوب شرق آسيا، يلجأون الى خلق المصاعب الاستراتيجية للصين، على صعيد التجارة الاستراتيجية، أملاً منهم في إضعافها اقتصادياً، وبالتالي عسكرياً، كي يتمكنوا من تحقيق أهدافهم، في تكريس الهيمنة الأميركية على العالم من جديد.

لكن ما يغيب عن بال هؤلاء المخططين هو حقيقة انّ المصالح المشتركة، بين الصين الشعبية وروسيا وإيران، وعلاقات التنسيق الوثيق، التي تربط الدول الثلاث، على مختلف الأصعدة، كفيلة بإفشال كلّ هذه الأوهام، وانّ أتباع واشنطن في أنقره وتل أبيب وأعراب النفط لن يكونوا قادرين على تغيير موازين القوى الاستراتيجية، لا على صعيد منطقة القوقاز وآسيا الوسطى، ولا على صعيد موازين القوى في جنوب شرق آسيا وغرب المحيط الهادئ. وهي بالتالي مشاريع محكومة بالفشل، كسابقاتها من المشاريع الاميركية، التي انطلقت من احتلال أفغانستان، ثم العراق ومن بعدها محاولة ضرب حزب الله في لبنان سنة ٢٠٠٦، تعزيزاً لاحتلال العراق وتمهيداً للسيطرة على «الشرق الأوسط» بأكمله، وصولاً الى الفتن والحروب التي أشعلتها الولايات المتحدة في الدول العربية، تحت مسمّى الربيع العربي، منذ عام ٢٠١١، وانتهاءً بالعدوان الأميركي «الإسرائيلي» السعودي على اليمن، الذي فشل تماماً في تحقيق أيّ من أهدافه.

2 ـ التمهيد لتوسيع دائرة الحروب والفتن الطائفية والعرقية، في عموم منطقة آسيا الوسطى، وليس فقط في منطقة شمال وجنوب القوقاز، وذلك عبر تكليف مخلب الناتو، تركيا أردوغان، وتحت إشراف غرفة العمليات الأميركية التركية الإسرائيلية المشتركة، وبتمويل سعودي، بنقل الآلاف من مسلحي داعش، الموجودين في سورية حالياً، والذين تمّ نشرهم على محاور: فضولي وجبرائيل، جنوب منطقة ناغورنو كاراباخ، على الحدود الإيرانيه الاذرية، لاستخدامهم ضمن الأهداف المذكورة أعلاه، إلى جانب إنشاء معسكرات تدريب مخصصة لإعادة تدريب هذه العناصر، وتسريبها الى دول وسط آسيا السوفياتية السابقة، وصولاً الى الصين، ظناً منهم انّ بمقدورهم تغيير موازين القوى الاستراتيجية، أو خلق مناطق عدم استقرار دائمة، على حدود الصين الغربية وحدود روسيا الجنوبية والجنوبية الغربية وحدود إيران الشمالية الغربية.

بائسون هؤلاء الاطلسيون من واشنطن حتى أنقرة…

لم يقرأوا التاريخ جيداً ولا استوعبوا بعد السنن الكونية الحاكمة في كلّ تحوّلات الدنيا…

وما يمكرون إلا بأنفسهم ولا يشعرون

سأريكم آياتي فلا تستعجلون

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

Like 2017 France, will voters choose Trump just to end a fake-leftist party?

Like 2017 France, will voters choose Trump just to end a fake-leftist party?

October 04, 2020

By Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog

Since 1996 Americans have proven that they know their own country: polls show they have correctly picked the winner of the popular vote every time. Even though Trump’s approval rating is under 50% and poll aggregates show he trails by 8%, Gallup just asked who they think will win and 56% of Americans picked Trump, including 24% of Democrats, while just 40% picked Biden.

That’s a big spread, but it confirms what everybody tells me from small towns to Chicago, and I ask everyone. It’s pretty pathetic to see the fear in the eyes of some Biden supporters – you aren’t Afghans planning a wedding party during the Obama era, ok?

Given the extraordinary economic disaster and mass unemployment (in a country with no social safety net) it seems totally impossible for any incumbent to survive, but we should not forget that Democrats are the half of the duopoly which is paid to lose: they are here to provide a safety valve against real leftism (they are Bernie Sanders writ large), and to divert people away from leftist solutions to America’s lack of a social safety net with fake-leftist divisiveness.

Trump has caught coronavirus, and – I’m sure he’s saying – it’s the biggest, most stupendous, most world-famous case of corona ever! It is – Trump is finally not over-selling. But so will be the recovery, no? A recovered Trump (and a 74-year old man has just a 3% chance of dying after contracting corona) who doesn’t make Biden’s willingness for even more devastating, unbearable, technocratic lockdowns a top-two issue would prove that corona does indeed cause lasting brain damage.

The Deep State and their proxies have obviously done everything – fair or foul – they could to stop Trump, and yet I haven’t seen anyone discuss the idea that the White House corona outbreak was injected there on purpose? If anybody could and would do it – and then see Trump survive and overturn their best-laid plans – it would be US Democrats, no?

Trump has the good fortune of running against a Democratic Party which – the ousting of Bernie Sanders and the elevation of Kamala Harris shows – is dominated by a tiny cabal of well-connected Clintonistas, the corporate board members residing in one of the world’s biggest tax havens (the state of Delaware, home of Biden) and Hollywood media liberals who will get incredibly upset at my upcoming use of the term “Frenchmen” instead of “Frenchx”.

Indeed, the biggest achievement of US liberals since 2016 may merely be forcing people to use “Latinx” instead of “Latino/a”. At the “China: Isn’t It Time to Turn To Us?” first presidential debate I don’t recall Biden uttering the word “impeachment”, and he definitely didn’t talk about Russiagate – Democrats can’t possibly run on their own pathetic record?

Yes, the US is such a politically-ignorant country that Trump can accuse “Corporate Joe” Biden of being a “radical socialist” and actually find believers, but Western fake-leftist parties are increasingly being punished by voters for their “right-wing economics and right-wing foreign policy but with political correctness” platform.

It’s amazing that the Clintonista faction wasn’t forced from power after stunningly losing to a reality show star in 2016, but if they snatch defeat from the jaws of victory again will there finally be a fair reckoning?

Could defeat in November break up the ossified, out-of-touch and certainly ineffective Democratic Party?

There is a recent Western precedent for such an abrupt exit: the Socialist Party of France.

In 2017 they were rejected so emphatically that their perpetual post-WWII duopoly-dominance became quickly irrelevant; the fact that in 2012 they won both the presidency and 36% more seats than any other party in Parliament became quickly irrelevant. What cost the Socialist Party was the patsy Francois Hollande’s appalling backtracking on his campaign promise to end austerity – it finally became totally clear to Frenchmen that the Socialist Party should be called the “Neoliberal Party of Brussels”.

The French left remains in total disarray, as they should be, given how they refused to listen to their constituents and how they proved themselves to be elitist, duplicitous and amoral technocrats. The trend in France is for the Green Party to be given a chance next, as they are the only other not-yet-discredited option other than the tiny true left and the “paper tiger” far-right.

Yes, unlike the US the French political spectrum contains more than just two parties, but the bigger difference is that the French voter was smart enough to be out for blood in 2017: the #1 reason people voted for Emmanuel Macron was to block Marine Le Pen, but the #2 most-stated reason was to sweep both mainstream parties out from entrenched power – it worked spectacularly well against the Socialist Party.

The United States is far more more prone to hysterical fear-mongering than the cool and politically-experienced French, and “never Trump derangement syndrome” does help explain why there isn’t a similar “cast your vote to kill the mainstream party” movement like France had in 2017. Of course, votes for Trump in the 2016 Republican primaries were made for precisely this reason – this is totally forgotten/covered-up/ignored/misunderstood in 2020 USA.

Such a movement is certainly good sense (which American leftists rarely have), though, as well as political justice.

Yet it seems impossible to imagine someone like Nancy Pelosi – eating her $13 ice cream while getting an illegal high-class haircut – wouldn’t be made the fall-guy (“fall-guyx”?) for yet another Democratic debacle, but was there any change whatsoever after Hillary’s loss?

Is there any doubt that a Biden win wouldn’t see Hillary taking a top cabinet post, replete with royal re-coronation media coverage? Hillary’s certain return is never, ever discussed here because it would obviously turn many voters away from the Democrats in disgust, even though she’s already said she’s ready to join Biden’s administration. A vote for Biden is indeed a vote for Hillary.

But when did Democratic Party leadership ever care about being popular among the masses?

They don’t have to care because the reality is that the American system is incredibly undemocratic at the upper level. Maybe at the local levels we can talk about a face-off between a small town’s two richest lawyers as being a marginally democratic election, but at the top the American system is a most-rigid Politburo dominated by politicians, lobbyist-connected generals and billionaires who never even paid lip service to ideals which weren’t grasping Western individualism, self-righteous arrogance and realpolitik greed.

Forty years ago Democrats in Detroit and in the farming Delta may have said things which condemned those obvious flaws in the neo-aristocratic (bourgeois) US model, but now Democrats only say such things at election time. Take, for example, the discussions about African-American reparations during the Democratic primaries – LOL, no top Democrat has talked about that since Biden’s victory, and they won’t again… until 2024.

Cynically insist all you want that the Democratic Party, the oldest voter-based party in the world, is too entrenched, too privileged and has had too long to game the system in order to ever pay the price for such phony politics, but history says otherwise – just ask France’s fake-leftists.

Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

البحار الخمسة والانسحاب الأميركيّ والإسرائيليّ من أذربيجان أولاً

ناصر قنديل

تتقاطع المعطيّات التاريخية مع الأسباب الوطنية والأتنية والعرقية والقومية في نزاعات العالم الجديد، بعد نهاية الحرب الباردة، مع مصالح النفط والغاز ومصادرهما والأنابيب الناقلة لهما، والممرات المائية للناقلات التي تحمل هذه الموارد من مصادرها إلى أسواق العالم، مع التبدّلات التي تصيب موازين القوى العالمية وتصادم الاستراتيجيات، لتتشكّل مشاهد الحروب الصغيرة – الكبيرة، الممتدّة على مساحة العالم والمتركزة في مناطق تتوزّع بين أحواض البحار الخمسة، التي شكلت عنوان مشروع يحمل اسم الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد، تحت عنوان الدعوة لمنظومة إقليمية تضم الدول التي تشاطئ البحار، الأبيض المتوسط والأحمر والأسود وقزوين وعُمان وتقع مناطق القوقاز والمشرق وتركيا وإيران وروسيا والخليج في قلبها، ووفقاً لبعض قراء الاستراتيجيات أن الحرب الاستباقية على سورية التي قادتها واشنطن جاءت لمنع قيام هذه المنظومة الإقليميّة، التي تستند دعوة الأسد لقيامها إلى استقرائه بدء مرحلة فراغ استراتيجي ستخيم عليها في ضوء الفشل الأميركي في حربي العراق وأفغانستان، فجاءت الحرب على قاعدة الإنكار الأميركي للتسليم بالفراغ وإغلاقاً لباب البحث بالبدائل إقليمية.

الانسحابات الأميركية من أوزباكستان، والتي على الطريق من أفغانستان، والموعود بها من كل من سورية والعراق، تجعل الفراغ الاستراتيجي أمراً واقعاً، بالتزامن مع استرداد روسيا زمام المبادرة في مناطق النزاع الواقعة ضمن المدى التاريخي للاتحاد السوفياتي، وفي محيطها الأبعد لأمنها القومي، انطلاقا من حسمها العسكري مع جورجيا، عبر اجتياح أوسيتيا الجنوبية عام 2008، وصولاً لحسم أمر شبه جزيرة القرم وشرق أوكرانيا، عام 2014، وصولاً للتموضع العسكري المباشر في سورية عام 2015، وبالتوازي مع ذلك ظهور إيران كقوة إقليمية صاعدة بعد حضورها في الحرب على سورية من جهة وفوزها بالاتفاق النووي من جهة مقابلة، وتبلور دورها كقوة داعمة لقوى صاعدة في لبنان والعراق واليمن وفلسطين، وظهور تركيا كقوة إقليميّة تملك مشروعاً لفرض حضورها كشريك إقليمي، سواء تحت سقف الانضواء في حلف الأطلسي أو من خارجه وعلى حساب حلفاء فيه، أو بمواجهة بعض الحلفاء الأعضاء البارزين فيه كفرنسا، ما يعني عملياً أن مشروع المنظومة الإقليمية التي تحدث عنها الرئيس بشار الأسد منذ عام 2009، عادت لتشكل إطاراً يملأ الفراغ الاستراتيجي الناجم عن الانكفاء الأميركي، رغم الإنكار، لكن بدلاً من أن يتم ذلك على البارد وبوعي استباقي، فهي تتم الآن على الساخن وبدفع أثمان باهظة، وربما تكون مغامرات ورعونة الرئيس التركي المسؤول الرئيسي عن تضييع فرصة الخيار الاستباقي السلمي وحلول الخيار الدموي مكانه.

تشبه الحرب بين اذربيجان وأرمينيا في كثير من وجوهها الجيوسياسية، الحرب على سورية، حيث تحضر ثروات وأنابيب النفط والغاز، وحيث تحضر التجاذبات الإقليمية والدولية. ففي أذربيجان أقرب القواعد الأميركية لحدود روسيا في آسيا، وأقرب تمركز إسرائيلي لإيران، وترابط تاريخي وجغرافي لمنطقة النزاع بكل من روسيا وإيران وتركيا، ومصالح أوروبية حاضرة بتدفق موارد الطاقة، وخصوصاً خط تاناب الذي يزود أوروبا بغاز بحر قزوين والممتد على مسافة 3500 كلم عابراً الأراضي التركية. والحل الذي ينهي الحرب الممتدة الجذور إلى صراعات الهويات التاريخية والتنازع الحدودي، لا يمكن أن يجد فرصته إلا عندما تتبلور توازنات متفق عليها ومسلم بها لموقع الصراع في الخرائط الجيوسياسية والعسكرية على الصعيدين الإقليمي والدولي. وهذا لن يتحقق من دون الانسحاب الأميركي والإسرائيلي من أذربيجان، وتموضع تركيا خارج المشروع الأطلسي للضغط على روسيا اسوة بما فعلته في سورية من قبل، ليتم تظهير إطار للحل السياسي وفق قواعد شبيهة بمسار أستانة الروسي الإيراني التركي.

كما كان تأخير مسار منظومة البحار الخمسة بفعل رعونة وغرور وخطأ رهانات وحسابات الرئيس التركي، سيتأخر الحال في ناغورني قره باغ حتى تنضج تركيا لصالح تكرار ما فعلته في سورية بانضوائها ضمن ثلاثية روسية تركية إيرانية، سيتكفل وجودها بتخفيض التوتر من جهة، وبتسريع القناعة الأذربيجانية بضرورة تسريع انسحاب أميركي إسرائيلي من أراضيها، كشرط لجهوزيتها لنزع الفتائل الإقليمية والدولية من النزاع، والمفارقة اللافتة في هذا الصراع أن إيران المتهمة ببناء هلال شيعي أو أكثر والتي ترتبط بالانتماء للمذهب الشيعي مع أكثر من 85% من الآذريين، فيما ينتسب 20% من الإيرانيين للعرق الآذري الذي يشكل القومية الثانية بعد الفارسية بين مكوّنات الشعب الإيراني، تجد نفسها أقرب لأرمينيا المسيحيّة، بينما تجد تركيا التي تخوض معركة زعامة سنة العالم الإسلامي مع أذربيجان الشيعية، ما يكفي لفهم كيفية تموضع الدول في السياسات والحروب، وفقاً للاستراتيجيات العليا والمصالح الكبرى، فيما لا تشكل القومية والمذهبية إلا الغطاء أو الذريعة عندما تنسجم مع المصالح العليا، فحيث تنوجد أميركا و«إسرائيل» يستحيل أن تجد إيران حليفاً كما يصعب أن تجد تركيا عدواً.

Iran says any violation of its territory by Nagorno-Karabakh conflicting sides ‘intolerable’

Source

Saturday, 03 October 2020 2:09 PM  [ Last Update: Saturday, 03 October 2020 2:38 PM ]

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A police officer walks in front of an apartment building that was damaged by recent shelling in the Nagorno-Karabakh region’s main city of Stepanakert on October 3, 2020, during the ongoing fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region. (Photo by AFP)

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman has given a stern warning to the sides involved in military clashes over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region against violating the Islamic Republic’s territory.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has been monitoring the movements along our country’s border areas with seriousness and great sensitivity,” Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters on Saturday when asked about the reports of violation of Iran’s territory during the ongoing clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

He emphasized that any violation of the Iranian soil by any warring side in the region would not be tolerated and added, “We seriously warn all sides to take the necessary precautions in this regard.”

The Iranian spokesperson once again stressed the importance of respecting Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, observing the principle of protecting civilians, ending the clashes and opening serious and scheduled negotiations.

Khatibzadeh also expressed the Islamic Republic’s readiness to help achieve these objectives.

His comments came after officials in the northwestern Iranian province of East Azarbaijan reported that mortar shells fired by the warring sides in the latest round of fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan had hit border rural areas in Iran.

According to reports, one of the mortar shells that hit a village in Khoda-Afarin County had injured a six-year-old child and caused horror among people.

Scores of deaths have been reported in the fighting over the past days, with Yerevan and Baku continuing to trade accusations for the war.

The disputed region of Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but has an Armenian population and administration. The two countries have been locked in the territorial dispute since the 1990s, when Karabakh declared independence after a war that claimed 30,000 lives.

The new round of fighting is the heaviest since a 1994 ceasefire, which nevertheless failed to put an ultimate end to the conflict. Since the violence broke out, both sides have imposed martial law and announced mobilizations of armed forces. 

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said on Wednesday that his country will keep fighting until Armenian forces “fully” withdraw from the disputed region.Azerbaijan vows to fight until Armenia’s ‘full withdrawal’ from KarabakhAzerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev says his country will keep fighting until Armenian forces “fully” withdraw from the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, as tensions continue between the two South Caucasus neighbors.

“We only have one condition: Armenian armed forces must unconditionally, fully, and immediately leave our lands,” Aliyev said, adding that if “the Armenian government fulfills the demand, fighting and bloodshed will end, and peace will be established in the region.”

During a telephone conversation with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on Armenia and Azerbaijan to show restraint and reject any foreign interference over the Karabakh dispute.Iran’s Rouhani urges restraint over Karabakh dispute, warns of new war in regionIran urges restraint while warns about any foreign interference over the recent fighting in the disputed Karabakh region.

Rouhani voiced concern about the ongoing fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh territory and underlined the need for regional peace, stability and security.

“Our region cannot endure further instability and a new war,” he said.

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