Azerbaijani Troops Are At Gates Of Capital Of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic

South Front

The Nagorno-Karabakh war has apparently been developing in the favor of the Turkish-Azerbaijani bloc. On the evening of October 29, the Armenian side confirmed that Azerbaijani troops have almost reached the second largest town in Nagorno-Karabakh – Shusha, which is located just a few km from the capital of the self-proclaimed republic – Stepanakert. Arayik Harutyunyan, the president of the republic, called on Armenians to take arms to defend their homeland.

“Shusha is not just a town, it is the symbol of the determination of the Armenian people to live in their own cradle, a symbol of the victories of the Armenian people. Shusha is the beating heart of all Armenians. As the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of Artsakh, I once again call on each and every one of you to unite and defend our Shusha, our Artsakh, our national dignity,” he said.

Azerbaijani infantry reportedly outflanked defense positions of the Armenians near Hadrut and deployed about 5km from Shusha. The presence of forward units of Azerbaijani forces in such an area is another signal of the hard situation on the frontline for Armenian forces. While the Armenians have likely been able to repel the first Azerbaijani push towards the Lachin corridor, near the border with Armenia, the advancing Azerbaijani troops are still a major problem for the defenders of Karabakh on other parts of the frontline.

The Defense Ministry of the Republic of Artsakh confirmed clashes south of Shusha saying that Armenian units have been working to eliminate enemy sabotage groups. This official version of events sounds at least concerning for the defenders of the city. Independent Armenian sources report intense fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces south of the town. If the Armenians lose Shusha, this will mean that Azerbaijani forces are at the gates of the Nagorno-Karabakh capital.

Meanwhile, the Armenian Defense Ministry released its own map of the situation on the frontline. According to it, the Azerbaijani military is still far away from Shusha. Furthermore, it shows that Hadrut still mysteriously remains in the hands of Armenians forces. At the same time, the Armenian conter-attack on Qubdali that forced the Azerbaijani military to withdraw from the town turning it into a gray zone was underreported. The Armenians also denied the shooting down of two of its Su-25 warplanes claimed by the Azerbaijani military. According to Azerbaijan these warplanes “attempted to inflict airstrikes on the positions of the Azerbaijani Army in the Qubadli direction of the front” and were shot down. No visual evidence to confirm the shooting down of the Su-25s has been provided so far.

On the other hand, the Azerbaijani side released a series of videos showing successful strikes on Armenian forces in the contested region. The strikes seen in the videos targeted more than 27 posts and gatherings of Armenian troops as well as the following equipment: 5 D-20 howitzers, a D-30 howitzer, 2 2S1 Gvozdika self-propelled howitzers, a BM-21 multiple rocket launcher, 2 trucks, a SUV, a P-18 Radar and a Communication center. Most of the strikes seen in the videos were carried out with Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 combat drones. The rest were apparently carried out with precision-guided rockets, like the Israeli-made ACCULAR and EXTRA, which are known to be in service with the Azerbaijani military.

By the end of October, the Turkish-Azerbaijani bloc has surely seized the strategic initiative in the conflict and overcome Armenian attempts to recapture it. Now, Baku with help from its Turkish allies are planning to deliver the devastating blow to the Armenian defenders of Karabakh. At the same time, the leadership of Armenia is still playing diplomatic games and not hurrying up to send its regular troops to assist the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Related Vdeos

Azerbaijani forces use white phosphorus over Karabakh: video
Azerbaijani forces destroy Russian-made missile system in Karabakh: video
Moment Armenian troops ambush Azerbaijani special forces: video

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NEO-OTTOMAN NIGHTS OF ARMENIAN-AZERBAIJANI WAR

South Front

Turkish Sultan-in-Chief Recep Tayyip Erdogan has come up with a justification for the deployment of Syrian militants to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone to support the war against Armenia. According to him, at least 2,000 fighters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) are supporting Armenian forces there.

During the meeting with the ruling Justice and Development Party parliamentary group, Erdogan claimed that during the phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin he allegedly told him that Turkish authorities “have identified, through intelligence sources, that there are some 2,000 PKK terrorists fighting for Armenia at the moment for $600. Mr. President said he was not aware of that.” “I have told Putin that if our red lines are crossed, we would not hesitate to take action,” he added. Apparently, these non-existent PKK and YPG members in Karabakh are to justify direct Turkish involvement in the conflict on the side of Azerbaijan and somehow neutralize the mounting evidence showing Turkish-backed al-Qaeda-linked militants moving to Karabakh.

Meanwhile, the Armenian side revealed radar data confirming the involvement of the Turkish Air Force in the Armenian-Azerbaijani war. The released tracks show that Turkish warplanes deployed in Azerbaijan provide air cover for Bayraktar TB2 drones striking Armenian positions, while the Turkish aerial command post circulating in Turkish airspace, near the conflict zone, coordinates the entire aerial operation. The entire operation, according to Armenia, was planned and carried out with the deep involvement of Turkish military specialists.

Under the pressure of evidence, the Azerbaijani side has already admitted the presence of Turkish specialists and military equipment on its territory. The last step towards reality would be to confirm that they are involved in combat.

On October 28 and 29, forces of the Turkish-Azerbaijani bloc were conducting intensive strikes on Shushi and Stepanakert, the largest towns in Nagorno-Karabakh. Several airstrikes even hit the maternity section of the hospital in Stepanakert. Some sources even speculated that these strikes were delivered by F-16 warplanes. On the other hand, the Armenian side demonstrated that it is not much better and shelled the Azerbaijani town of Barda killing at least 21 people and wounding 70 others. The Turkish-Azerbaijani shelling of settlements and towns in Nagorno-Karabakh is a logical result of its attempt to remove Armenians from the region. Therefore, their strikes are aimed not only at military targets, but also at civilian ones in order to displace the local population. Meanwhile, the Armenian retaliation in a similar manner rarely has real military goals, rather it helps Ankara and Baku to gain some ‘evidence’ to confirm its propaganda narrative about ‘Armenian terrorism’. Moreover, these actions of the sides contribute to the further escalation of the conflict and undermine any weak hopes for escalation via diplomatic channels.

On October 29, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported that it continues combat operations in the Khojavend, Fizuli, and Gubadli directions of the front calling its offensive ‘retaliatory measures’ to contain Armenian ceasefire violations. According to Baku, the Armenians lost two T-72 tanks, two BM-21 “Grad” MLRS, 14 different types of howitzers, and 6 auto vehicles in recent clashes. Earlier, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev announced that his forces had captured 13 more settlements in the districts of Zangilan, Fuzuli, Jabrayil and Gubadli.

In their turn, the Armenian military claimed that it has repelled an Azerbaijani attack in the direction of the towns of Kapan and Meghri in southern Armenia inflicting numerous casualties on the ‘enemy’. Armenian forces are also counter-attacking in the district of the Gubadli, aiming to retake the district center. However, this attack reportedly was repelled. As of October 29, Armenian forces have contained Azerbaijani attempts to reach and fully cut off the Lachin corridor linking Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Nonetheless, the situation in the area remains instable and the Turkish-Azerbaijani bloc still continues its offensive operations in this direction.

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AZERBAIJAN IS IN ANGER. ARMENIANS OPEN FIRE AT ITS TROOPS PEACEFULLY ADVANCING IN NAGORNO-KARABAKH

South Front

Azerbaijan Is In Anger. Armenians Open Fire At Its Troops Peacefully  Advancing In Nagorno-Karabakh: izwest — LiveJournal
Video Here

The US-brokered humanitarian ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh collapsed immediately after its start on the morning of October 26. Clashes between the sides did not stop even for a minute and Yerevan and Baku immediately accused each other of sabotaging the peace efforts.

As of the evening of October 26, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan officially stated that the US-brokered ceasefire failed, while Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that “the mediators must either achieve the withdrawal of occupying forces, or move away from the path of Baku”. It seems that the estimation of the Karabakh conflict as an ‘easy case’ by US President Donald Trump did not stand the test of reality.

In a separate statement, the Azerbaijani President said that Turkish F-16 jets, which are deployed in Azerbaijan (just a few days ago the top leadership of Turkey and Azerbaijan was denying this) will be employed to protect his country in response to any act of ‘foreign aggression’. It is interesting to look how the official narrative of Azerbaijan and Turkey has been shifting from claims about Turkish non-involvement in the war to admitting the direct military participation of Ankara in the military escalation. The town of Qubadli and nearby villages were also captured by Azerbaijan as its media and diplomats were blaming Armenians for ceasefire violations.

Apparently, the coward Armenian forces violate the ceasefire regime by attacking the peacefully advancing Azerbaijani troops. The setbacks in the south of Karabakh was confirmed by the Armenian Defense Ministry, but insisted that the situation is still under full control. If this is under full control, it’s hard to imagine how the Armenian side sees the variant of the situation when all is not under control.

During the past days, the Azerbaijani-Turkish bloc continued its advance towards the Lachin corridor, a strategic area where the shortest route between Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is located. According to reports, after the recent gains Azerbaijani troops are now about 10-12km from the area. Azerbaijani forces are now working to secure their recent gains and establish strong points there. After this, they will likely establish fire control over the route thus undermining the Armenian ability to send supplies to Karabakh. Then, the Turkish-Azerbaijani bloc will likely push towards Stepanakert.

Armenian sources ease the retreats with regular statements about the losses of Azerbaijan accompanied by videos and photos from the ground. For example, on October 26, the Armenian Defense Ministry released a new report claiming that Azerbaijan lost 6,674 troops, 600 armoured vehicles, 6 rocket launchers, 24 planes, 16 helicopters and 220 UAVs since the start of the conflict. While the numbers provided by both sides are expectedly overestimated, the evidence demonstrates that Azerbaijani forces in fact suffered notable casualties in their advance on Karabakh. The problem for Yerevan is that Armenian forces experienced losses of similar or even higher scale.

Members of Turkish-backed militant groups that remain in Syria and are yet to move to some conflict zone to die for Erdogan’s Neo-Ottoman dream also suffer hard times. At least 78 Turkish-backed militants were killed and over 100 others were injured in a recent series of Russian airstrikes on their training camps and HQs in the Syrian region of Idlib. The main strikes targeted a former air defense base of the Syrian Army near Al-Duvayla. This area is controlled by Turkish-backed militants and the former military base itself is currently a training camp for members of Faylaq ash-Sham. Syrian sources link the increased number of Russian strikes on Turkish proxies in Syria with their deployment to the Nagorno-Karabakh combat zone to support Azerbaijan.

Russia sees the increase of the presence of radical militant groups there as an unacceptable scenario. It is likely that this lies behind the recent decrease of reports and evidence on the deployment of Turkish proxies from Syria to Karabakh. The Turkish-Azerbaijani bloc estimate the risks and prefers to avoid the situation of the involvement of some third power in the conflict on the side of the Armenians.

Related

صواريخ روسية تقتل وتجرح مئات المسلحين من “فيلق الشام” بريف إدلب

سائر اسليم

طائرة حربية روسية تستهدف بعدة صواريخ معسكراً استراتيجياً لفصيل “فيلق الشام” في جبل الدويلة قرب سلقين غرب إدلب. ومصادر الميادين تؤكد أنها أحدثت انفجارات ضخمة سمع صداها في الأراضي التركية ومعظم ريف إدلب.

استهدفت طائرة حربية روسية بعدة صواريخ معسكراً استراتيجياً لفصيل “فيلق الشام” المدعوم من تركيا في جبل الدويلة قرب سلقين غرب إدلب.

وقالت مصادر “الميادين نت” إن الصواريخ استهدفت المعسكر بشكلٍ كامل، محدثة انفجارات ضخمة سمع صداها في الأراضي التركية ومعظم ريف إدلب.

وأكدت المصادر أنَّ الضربة الجوية أدت إلى تدمير كامل المعسكر الّذي يضمّ نخبة من مقاتلي الفيلق ومدربين عسكريين محليين وأجانب. ويتم من خلاله تخريج مقاتلي النخبة الذين تستعين بهم تركيا لتنفيذ مهام خاصة بها في إدلب ومناطق نفوذها شمال حلب.

وبلغت الحصيلة الأولية لعدد القتلى أكثر من 100 قتيل ونحو 200 جريح، معظمهم في حالة حرجة، إضافة إلى تدمير كامل العتاد.

يشار إلى أنه عقب قمة روسية تركية مشتركة لبحث التطورات الأخيرة في ريف إدلب، خلُص اجتماع الرئيسين الروسي فلاديمير بوتين ونظيره التركي رجب طيب إردوغان في آذار/ مارس الماضي إلى مذكرة تفاهم حول إدلب، ضمنت وقف إطلاق النار وإنشاء ممر آمن بطول 12 كيلومتراً على طول الطريق السريع M4.

وتسيطر “هيئة تحرير الشام” وفصائل مقاتلة أخرى أقل نفوذاً حالياً على حوالى نصف مساحة إدلب ومناطق محدودة محاذية من محافظات حماة وحلب واللاذقية.

وتتعرض المنطقة بين الحين والأخر لغارات تشنها أطراف عدة، آخرها قصف أميركي أدى إلى مقتل 17 من القيادات والعناصر المنشقة عن “هيئة تحرير الشام”.

المصدر: الميادين نت

فيديوات متعلقة

مقالات متعلقة

Erdogan and Trump’s Militiamen attack Syrian Towns in Raqqa Province

October 25, 2020 Arabi Souri

US Kurdish SDF YPG PKK and Turkish FSA NATO Guns

Anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood terrorists loyal to the Turkish madman Erdogan and Kurdish separatist militiamen of the SDF carried coordinated attacks against the Syrian locals in the northern and eastern countryside of Raqqa province, north of Syria.

Both NATO-affiliated militias operate in regions they took control over with the help of US and Turkish armies after flag-exchange ceremonial stunts with ISIS terrorists. The only fights took place there were against the locals while the Pentagon media was hyping Kurdish separatists non-existing fights against ISIS, the offshoot of Al Qaeda, another NATO-US affiliate.

Turkish forces and their anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood terrorist affiliates shelled with artillery the towns of Khalidiya and Hoshan in the Ain Issa region, in the furthest northern Raqqa countryside bordering NATO member state Turkey.

The Turkish forces and their affiliated terrorists used its artillery and missiles in its indiscriminate shelling of the houses and farmlands of the locals in the above-mentioned two towns causing severe material damages in a number of properties, this is a continuation of the bombing of the Ain Issa region on the 16th of this month which resulted in killing a child and causing material damage.

Erdogan, the Neo-Ottoman sultan wannabe, wants to Israelize most of the northern parts of Syria which are rich in oil, water, wheat, and cotton farms, in part to have more land control and in another part to deprive Syria of its main food and energy sources. Erdogan wants to replace the people of these regions with members of the Muslim Brotherhood groups and their families he’s displacing from other areas in northeast Syria.

The current leader of Al Qaeda Ayman Zawahri is also a member of the Muslim Brotherhood ideology, an ideology created by the Brits over a century ago along with Wahhabism in Arabia and Zionism in Europe to manipulate crowds through their religions by misquoting and misinterpreting the divine teachings in the holy books.

Separatist Kurdish SDF Militia work for the USA

At the same time, Kurdish separatist militiamen of the SDF raided a number of villages in the eastern countryside of Raqqa, it kidnapped a large number of civilians and took them to its quarters in Gestapo-style raids.

Among the kidnapped were around 50 young men who were taken to special concentration camps for brainwashing and training to fight their own countrymen in the Syrian Arab Army and the Syrian police.

Earlier on Tuesday, last week, the Kurdish SDF separatists raided the city of Tabqa and the towns of Sakkir in Raqqa eastern countryside, and the town of Baghuz in Deir Ezzor eastern countryside. The Kurdish separatists imposed a full siege over the raided towns and carried out door to door raids.

This comes as attacks by unknown armed men against the Kurdish SDF separatists have been escalating especially after the Kurdish militia assassinated prominent elders of the local tribes in the region with the help and under the protection of Trump forces operating illegally in Syria.

Syria News Briefs: SDF Child Soldiers, Landmines, and Economy

https://www.syrianews.cc/syria-news-briefs/embed/#?secret=MQdn0d2j30

Erdogan Forces Loot Power Transformers in Towns they Infest

https://www.syrianews.cc/erdogan-forces-loot-power-transformers-in-towns-they-infest/embed/#?secret=u4rhZJq3Pf

Trump Forces to Relocate ISIS Terrorists Out of Northeast Syria

https://www.syrianews.cc/trump-forces-relocate-isis-syria/embed/#?secret=CMaJvGoPBn

Of Flags and of Idiots: Why be a Willful Dupe?

https://www.syrianews.cc/flags-idiots-willful-dupe/embed/#?secret=GnOFnVb497

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Turkey to Send Troops to Combat Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh?

By Stephen Lendman

Global Research, October 23, 2020

Like the US, Turkey’s Erdogan pursues interests at the expense of peace and stability.

He favors war for extending Turkey’s borders to further his neo-Ottoman aims.

He, his family members and regime profited earlier from stolen Syrian oil.

He gave ISIS and other terrorists safe haven in Turkish territory, providing them with weapons, other material support, and a launching pad for attacks on Syrian soldiers and civilians.

Turkey under Erdogan is a fascist police state — speech, media and academic freedoms they way they should be banned.

So is dissent. Anyone publicly criticizing or insulting him risks prosecution for terrorism, espionage or treason, including children.

As long as he doesn’t act against US interests, as a NATO member and in other ways, his tyrannical rule and regional destabilizing actions are tolerated — if only barely.

On Wednesday, his Vice President Fuat Oktay said Ankara is ready to send troops to back Azerbaijan’s war on Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh (NK below).

In response to Turkey’s deployment of armed and directed jihadists to combat Armenian forces in NK, the country’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called on regional countries to unite against them and their Turkish paymaster.

“Regretably (they) have not responded to this reality seriously enough yet,” Pashinyan added.

“It is beyond doubt that the presence of foreign terrorists will pose a threat to the region in the future.”

“The region’s countries must deal with this issue more seriously.”

The Erdogan regime is also involved militarily in NK by providing Baku with command and control services, training of its military forces, and heavy weapons for warmaking.

He and hardliners surrounding him support war, not resolution in NK.

Pashinyan stressed it, saying “the Karabakh question…cannot have a diplomatic solution.”

“Everything that is diplomatically acceptable to the Armenian side…is not acceptable to Azerbaijan…”

Baku’s ruling authorities intend endless war until Armenian forces are driven from NK — no matter the human toll, according to comments from its leadership.Turkey’s Involvement in Nagorno-Karabakh

As Azeri forces advance, civilians in harm’s way are caught in the crossfire.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that they’ve taken control of areas bordering Iran and Armenia’s international border — increasing the risk of conflict spilling into both countries.

Armenia’s Defense Ministry spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan accused Azerbaijan of sending “small…subversive groups…into villages and towns, film(ing) themselves there, spread(ing) those images…to feed their society. But, unfortunately, this also affects us.”

While conflict continues, foreign ministers of both warring sides will meet with Trump regime’s Pompeo for talks in Washington on Friday.

Yet on Tuesday, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev said the following:

“We are fighting on our own land, giving martyrs and restoring our territorial integrity. These steps will continue to be taken.”

“Armenia must declare before it is too late that it is withdrawing from the occupied territories. After that the fighting may stop.”

From the above remarks and two failed Russian/Minsk Group arranged ceasefire, Aliyev is unwilling to compromise on his aims in NK.

With support from Turkey, including Erdogan’s willingness to send troops if asked, Aliyev rejects diplomacy while sending his foreign minister to discuss ceasefire with his Russian, French and US counterparts.

According to the Asia Times, Erdogan’s support for Azerbaijan is driven by energy interests in competition with Russia.

An unnamed Erdogan advisor said “Russia is neither an ally, nor an enemy, but we can’t negotiate if we are too dependent on them, especially when it comes to energy.”

“We have vital interests to protect,” including two pipelines from Azerbaijan to Europe, one for oil, the other for gas.

One runs close to NK, the other near northern Armenia, the unnamed advisor close to Erdogan adding:

“We can’t afford losing our sight on what’s going on around our pipelines in the Caucasus, especially in the Tavush region, where there have been several clashes (with Armenia) over the last years.”

The so-called BTC oil pipeline is owned by Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Britain’s BP.

The South Caucasus Pipeline runs from Azerbaijan’s Caspian Sea field to Turkey, and Georgia — soon as well to Italy, Greece and Bulgaria.

Earlier in October, Erdogan accused Armenia of endangering supplies of energy to Turkey and other European countries.

Oil and gas pipelines from Azerbaijan to Europe are only endangered by its preemptive war on Armenia in NK.

No danger would exist if conflict resolution ended weeks of fighting.

Russia also supplies gas to Turkey through Turkstream 1.

Turkstream 2 is under construction, completion expected around yearend.

Azerbaijan will compete with Russia for the European natural gas market.

Moscow prioritizes cooperation with other nations, confrontation with none.

Turkey’s Erdogan prioritizes the advancement of his neo-Ottoman interests.

*

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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

AZERBAIJANI FORCES RUSH TO CAPTURE LACHIN CORORIDOR FROM RETREATING ARMENIANS

South Front

The Armenian defense in the southern part of the Nagorno-Karabakh region seems to be collapsing as the advancing Azerbaijani forces are about to reach the strategic Lachin corridor.

On October 23, Azerbaijani troops were filmed near the village of Muradxanlı, which is located in about 15 km from this strategic area. Even if this Azerbaijani unit was just a field recognizance patrol and the main forces of the Turkish-Azerbaijani bloc still have to overcome Armenian resistance to reach the area, the fact of the Azerbaijani presence there marks the hard situation on the frontline for the Armenians.

The Lachin corridor is a mountain pass within the de jure borders of Azerbaijan, forming the shortest route between Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Republic of Artsakh). The cutting off of Lachin will destroy the remaining hopes of the Armenian side to achieve a military victory in the ongoing war. Meanwhile, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev announced that his forces took full control of the Azerbaijani-Iranian border after capturing the village of Aghband. The Azerbaijani leader also declared that the Armenians lost 21 more settlements in the districts of Zangilan, Fuzuli and Jabrayil.

The Armenian military denies the collapse of its defense lines in the south and claims that Azerbaijani units appearing on video are just sabotage parties. According to the Armenian side, various Azerbaijan troops tried to advance in the western, northern and northwestern directions, but all of these offensive attempts were repelled. The Azerbaijani military allegedly suffered heavy losses.

The Armenian side insists that the towns of Hadrut and Fuzuli are in fact not in the hands of Azerbaijan. It insists that various units of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan penetrate into different settlements in the front-line zone trying to create panic and make selfies there. These groups, according to Armenian media, are very small and often run away from Armenian troops. The optimism of Armenian officials is at least surprising.

According to reports, Armenian troops left the town of Aghband with almost no resistance to the Azerbaijani Armed Forces supported by Turkish specialists and Syrian militants. This move was likely a result of the need to save personnel and keep at least some reserves needed on other parts of the frontline. The defending of the almost surrounded town makes no sense. Nonetheless, videos and photos appearing online indicate that Armenian sabotage groups are also active in the rear of the advancing Azerbaijani forces. In that area, if they have enough supplies and weapons, they would be able to deliver painful blows to the logistical convoys of the Turkish-Azerbaijani bloc. It is likely that his activity is a formal pretext behind the statements of the Armenian Ministry of Defense that Azerbaijan has not gained full control of the border with Iran.

Forces of Azerbaijan continue to take control of settlements and villages in the south of Karabakh. Most of them are empty as the locals (ethnic Armenians) know well what fate they could face. It seems that the south of Karabakh is already lost for Armenia.

The Azerbaijani advance along the border with Iran through the relatively flat ground (if one compares it with the rest of Karabakh) appears to be a success. Now the Azerbaijani military and its allies are working to fully secure the border with Iran and set conditions for an operation to capture the Lachin corridor. The ability or inability of Azerbaijan to capture Lachin could become another turning point in the war.

Under the current conditions, it seems that a relatively positive outcome of the conflict for Karabakh forces would be possible in the event of the involvement some third power that would provide them with direct military assistance. Nonetheless, this scenario remains unlikely as long as even Armenia, which for years has been using Karabakh as its own protectorate, is not hurrying up to do so. Some Armenian sources even claim that the Pashinyan government oriented towards the West and NATO has just opted to sell the contested region to Azerbaijan under some formal pretext to remove the unresolved territorial disputes factor and open a way towards the further ‘democratic’ transformation of Armenia that it desires so much.

Related News

Armenian Forces Use Their Last Chance To Turn Tide Of War With Azerbaijan

South Front

The Azerbaijani Armed Forces have been developing their advance on Armenian positions in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region. On October 19, they captured 13 more villages in the Jabrayil district. The capturing of Soltanli, Amirvarli, Mashanli, Hasanli, Alikeykhanli, Gumlag, Hajili, Goyarchinveysalli, Niyazgullar, Kechal Mammadli, Shahvalli, Haji Ismayilli and Isagli was personally announced by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. Early on October 20, Azerbaijani forces also reached the town of Tumas and engaged Armenian units deployed there. Pro-Azerbaijani sources insist that the town already fell into the hands of Baku.

The country’s defense ministry claims that in the recent clashes Azerbaijani forces destroyed a number of enemy troops, at least 2 T-72 tanks, 2 BM-21 “Grad” MLRS, 1 D-30, 1 D-20 gun-howitzers, and 11 auto vehicles.

On October 19, pro-Armenian sources for the first time provided video evidence that they had shot down at least one of the Bayraktar TB2 combat drones operated by the Azerbaijani military and Turkish specialists.  Meanwhile, the Armenian Defense Ministry claimed that 5 unmanned aerial vehicles were shot down during the evening of that day only.

According to the Armenian side, the total number of Azerbaijani casualties in the war reached 6,259. 195 UAVs, 16 helicopters, 22 military planes, 566 armoured vehicles and 4 multiple rocket launchers of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan were allegedly destroyed. Yerevan claims that the Armenian forces have repelled two powerful attacks in the northern part of Karabakh, while intense fighting has been ongoing in the south. Nonetheless, Armenian military officials avoid confirming the recent Azerbaijani advances and insist that the recent developments are just a part of modern maneuver warfare. By these claims, the political leadership of Armenia tries to hide that the Azerbaijani advance along the Iranian border faced little resistance.

The Azerbaijani progress was mostly complicated by a limited number of mobile Armenian units, which were avoiding a direct confrontation and focusing on ambushes and mine warfare. According to reports, the Armenian side is now reinforcing its positions in the area of the Akari River seeking to prevent the further Azerbaijani advance towards the Armenian state border and the Lachin corridor.

On the other hand, the goal of the Azerbaijani-Turkish bloc is to overcome this resistance and to develop the current momentum to reach the Lachin mountain pass thus threatening to cut off the shortest route between Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh. In the event of success, this would predetermine the Azerbaijani victory in the war. Military hostilities are ongoing amid another round of international diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the situation and return the sides to the negotiating table.President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan declared that they are ready to meet in Moscow. The Azerbaijani leader even said that his country is ready to halt the operation if Armenia demonstrates a constructive approach. Nonetheless, the ‘constructive approach of Armenia’ in the view of Azerbaijan is the full and public surrender of Karabakh. Such an agreement will mark the collapse of the current political leadership of Armenia and is unlikely to be accepted.Therefore, the war will likely continue until the military victory of one of the sides and that side would likely be Azerbaijan.

Baku has already achieved an impressive breakthrough on the frontline if one compares the current situation with local military escalations in the previous years. As to Armenia, it will not likely be able to turn the tide of the conflict if it continues limiting its response to indirect support of forces of the Republic of Artsakh instead of a direct military action to repel the Azerbaijani-Turkish bloc. Clashes of the previous weeks already demonstrated that Baku has an upper hand in the current format of the military standoff in Karabakh. Therefore, if Yerevan really wants to change something, it should change the rules of the game even if this would create additional risks for Armenia itself.

Related News

Erdogan Withdrawing his Besieged Forces from an Illegal Base in Morek

October 18, 2020 Arabi Souri

Turkish observation point 9 in Morek Hama northern countryside besieged by SAA

Trapped by the Syrian Arab Army troops in their illegal military base in Morek after the SAA cleaned the region from Turkey’s-sponsored terrorist groups, Erdogan’s army forces are now packing up.

The Turkish Army loyal to the Turkish Madman and Pariah Erdogan started dismantling the observation towers in the ‘9th base’ besieged illegal military post in the city of Morek, in the northern Hama countryside, local sources confirmed.

Erdogan’s troops seen also dismantling logistical equipment, filling vehicles with petrol, and emptying the ammunition warehouses in an intensified movement, the locals are confirming these are signs that Erdogan troops will be leaving the base they’ve been holed in for over 14 months.

SAA Enters Morek and Surrounds Turkish Regime Observation Point 9

The withdrawal of Erdogan troops from the illegal military base in Morek comes after Russian mediation with the Syrian Arab Army commanders, the Russian military police will oversee the withdrawal of Erdogan army troops from the post to areas under the control of Al Qaeda Levant (HTS – Nusra Front) in Idlib countryside where they will feel safer among their peers, as sources revealed to the Lebanese Al Mayadeen news outlet.

Despite the show off that he’s spreading his influence all over the region and beyond, the Turkish pariah and Sultan wannabe Erdogan is actually losing, he cannot sustain the cost of expansion on his country’s economy even with all the billions he’s receiving from Qatar, maintaining terrorist groups have always been very costly for their sponsors, let alone sending them on suicide missions far from home in useless wars just to help the supposed-to-be enemy of those same terrorists, Israel.

This withdrawal of Erdogan’s army from Morek comes days after the latest in a continuous series of statements by Turkey’s top brass vowing to maintain the Turkish illegal presence in Syria at all costs, Erdogan’s Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar said the Turkish illegal military presence in Syria is ‘Unthinkable and non-negotiable’; they do think they can re-establish their most-hated Ottoman Empire on the ruins of the countries around Turkey using terrorist groups of the anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood cult, the cult that believes in the same ideology that the current head of Al Qaeda Ayman Zawahri follows, no coincidences.

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Intermediate Results And Prospects Of Armenian-Azerbaijani War

South Front

The Armenian-Azerbaijani war, which started on September 27, continues in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region despite international diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the conflict. Offensive operations of Azerbaijani forces continue at the same time as the Azerbaijani government claims that it is committed to the ceasefire regime. The first humanitarian ceasefire entered force in Karabakh on October 10 and collapsed on the next day, while the second one started on October 18 with the same result. The Armenian side also insists that it is committed to the ceasefire while simultaneously conducting counter-attacks against the advancing Azerbaijani forces.

For the Armenian side, the situation is further complicated by the fact that the current Armenian leadership is not ready to (or does not want to) employ all of its means and forces to fight back the Azerbaijani advance. Instead of this, Armenian forces involved in the conflict are limited to those of the Nagorno-Karakbah Republic.

The government of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has so far limited its support to Karabakh to supplying weapons, sending volunteers (instead of regular forces), complaining in the media and calling on other countries to recognize the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic as an independent state, while Armenia itself has made no steps in this direction.

As of October 19, the situation on the frontline demonstrates that the Azerbaijani-Turkish side has been slowly but steadily taking an upper hand in the war. Azerbaijani forces have achieved a series of tactical successes in the northern and southern part of the region, capturing two dozen small towns and villages. The most important of them are Fuzuli, Jabrayl, Hadrut, Madaghis and Talish. Azerbaijani forces also advanced in the direction of the Khudaferin Reservoir.

Over the past few days, especially heavy clashes were taking place near the town of Hadrut, from which Armenian forces withdrew after Azerbaijan took control of the surrounding heights. Fuzuli experienced a similar fate as the Hadrut heights in fact overlook its countryside as well. The Azerbaijani military extensively uses its advantage in air, artillery and manpower. The advance is also supported by militant groups deployed by Turkey from the northwest of Syria, Turkish special forces and specialists (especially in the field of EW operations, intelligence and air domain warfare).

These factors, especially the air dominance, allowed Azerbaijan to deliver notable damage to Armenian forces destroying multiple pieces of their military equipment, destroying fortified positions and manpower. The outdated air defense forces of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic appeared to be unable to deal with the threat from Azerbaijani military aircraft, while Armenia also seems to be unable to or has no political to will to employ its air defense. Just recently, on October 17, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry released a video of strikes on a S-300 system in Armenia.

At the same time, the Azerbaijani military conducts intense strikes on civilian infrastructure in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Despite the public claims of the Azerbaijani leadership that the conflict has no ethnic grounds and that there is no threat to the Armenian population, in fact, Baku seeks to not only dismantle the self-proclaimed Armenian state, but also to remove Armenians from this territory. The Armenian side responds in a similar manner regularly shelling settlements and towns in Azerbaijan. While some of these strikes may be considered as accidental, as Armenian sources claim, the recent strikes on the Azerbaijani city of Ganja with ballistic missiles are for sure not an accident. According to Azerbaijani authorities, 13 civilians were killed and more than 40 others were injured in the attack on the city. The strike was likely conducted with the Soviet R-17 Elbrus tactical ballistic missile complex, which is in service with Karabakh forces.

It is likely that the Turkish-Azerbaijani bloc will develop its advance further along the Iranian border aiming for the towns of Qobadli and Zengilan. For Azerbaijan, it will be profitable to extend the frontline because it will allow it to use its advantage in air power and manpower. Meanwhile, the terrain in this part of the region is less complex than that in the center or the north. In the event of success, such an advance will allow Azerbaijan to undermine the entire southern flank of Armenian forces deployed in Stepankert and Shusha. This will also create a threat of cutting off the so-called Lachin corridor, a mountain pass within the de jure borders of Azerbaijan, forming the shortest route between Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh. Another direction of the possible advance is Martakert and Agdam. Nonetheless, in this case, even if Azerbaijani forces achieve a success there, a further advance will be more complicated due to the more complex terrain.

The humanitarian ceasefire announced on October 17 seems like another attempt of the Minsk group, led by France, Russia and the United States, to de-escalate the conflict. Nonetheless, the position of the current Armenian government, which was for years undermining its relations with Russia, and the hardcore posture of Azerbaijan and Turkey that have already felt the flavour of potential military victory will likely not allow the parties involved to find a ‘constructive’ solution of the situation. Thus, Ankara and Baku will continue demanding a full surrender of Armenia over the Karabakh question, which the Armenian government (even if it wants to do so) cannot accept because this will lead to the immediate collapse of the Pashinyan regime and instability inside Armenia itself.

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«قسد التركيّة» تُحيي الإرهاب وتدعم الأتراك بأمر أميركي

د.وفيق إبراهيم

ليس غريباً على الإطلاق أن تعمل «قوات سورية الديموقراطية» الكردية المعروفة باسم «قسد» بأوامر أميركية صرفة، لأن نشأتها ونموّها وسيطرتها على معظم شرقي سورية، هو وليد قرار أميركي وفّر لها التغطية العسكرية والسياسية والاقتصادية، مستغلاً الدور الخليجي لجذب عشائر سورية للتحالف معها، كما حماها من الغضب التركي الذي يخشى من تمدد أي مشروع كردي نحو الأكراد الاتراك الذين يزيد عديدهم عن 15 مليوناً فينتشرون على مساحات كبيرة في شرق تركيا ومدينة اسطنبول.

هي إذاً المرة الاولى منذ المجازر التي أباد فيها الاتراك مئات آلاف الاكراد في تركيا في 1920 ودفعهم الى النزوح الى سورية، هي المرة الاولى التي يظهر تعاون بين أكراد يعملون على الانفصال عن سورية التي استضافتهم قبل قرن تقريباً مع الاتراك الذين طردوهم من اراضيهم. وهذا سببه بالطبع المعلم الأميركي للطرفين بمشروعيهما التركي الاقليمي والكردي المتمركز في شرقي الفرات.

لكل هذه الاطراف الثلاثة الأميركي والتركي والكردي مبرراته لهذا الالتقاء، اولاً وقبل أي كلام تركي وكردي، فإن ما يجري هو استشعار أميركي بتراجع دور الأحادية القطبية الأميركية في العالم بالتوازي مع ضمور نفوذهم في الشرق الاوسط وجمودهم في العراق وتقهقرهم في سورية، وتقدم دور حزب الله في لبنان، ونجاح الدولة اليمنية في صنعاء بإلحاق هزائم بحلفاء أميركا الخليجيين، هذا الى جانب ان الأميركيين باتوا مقتنعين ان تحرير الدولة السورية مع تحالفاتها لمنطقة إدلب التي يسيطر عليها الاتراك ومنظماتهم الارهابية الاخوانية، يؤدي تلقائياً الى انطلاق الجيش العربي السوري لتحرير شرقي الفرات وقاعدة التنف الأميركية، أي إعادة بناء سيادة سورية على كامل أراضيها فابتكرت العدوانية الأميركية فكرة تحشيد التناقضين الكبيرين وهما أكراد قسد ودولة اردوغان التركية، على الرغم من التناقض العمودي، البنيوي بينهما، الذي يعرض بالعادة ضرورة وجود قتال مفتوح حتى هزيمة طرف وفوز آخر.

لكن الأميركيين وبمفردهم هم القادرون على الجمع بين الاعداد، وهذا ما فعلوه عندما افهموا الاتراك ان هزيمتهم في ادلب تعني خسارتهم مشروعهم، وبالتالي شرقي المتوسط، وأقنعوا آليتهم الكردية «قسد» ان تحرير الدولة لإدلب يعني ايضاً سقوط مشروعها الانفصالي في الشرق السوري، مقترحين التعاون الأميركي الكردي التركي المشترك لعرقلة تقدم الدولة السورية نحو ادلب.

بدا هنا أن رأس المهام لتنفيذ هذه الخطة ملقى على عاتق قسد او عبر أدائها أدواراً ترتدي اشكالاً انسانية لكنها تحمل في مضمونها مشروعاً لعرقلة الجيش السوري.

بأي حال، يجب إضفاء تبرير لحركات قسد، فزعمت ان لديها 19 عشر الف إرهابي داعشي في سجونها وتريد اطلاق سراحهم لأن معظمهم كان مغرراً به، والقسم الآخر تخلى عن الفكر الإرهابي وبات مقتنعاً بالتعايش مع الآخر.

ما يفرض اولاً سؤال «قسد» عن مواقع مئات السجون التي تحتوي على هذا القدر الكبير من الأسرى الداعشيين؟ وهل لدى قسد آلاف المدرسين الذين كانوا يلقنون اسرى داعش الهداية والرشد؟ والى أين تريد إرسالهم من طريق تركيا ام العراق وربما الأردن.

هذه اسئلة يمكن ان تتطور بسؤال داعش عن الطريقة التي أمنت فيها مئات ملايين الدولارات لرعاية 19000 الف أسير داعشي بالسجن والطعام والحراسة، مع الملاحظة ان «قسد» تخوض حروباً مع الأتراك تارة والإرهاب تارة اخرى والعشائر السورية مرة ثالثة… هذا استناداً لتصريحاتها، فينكشف بذلك ان إعادة إحياء الارهاب الداعشي هو مشروع اكبر من طاقات قسد ويتعلق بالأميركيين والاتراك وقسد. الأمر الذي يظهر ان هذه القوى تعيد دفع الارهاب الى الحيادية وبعض نواحي دير الزور وادلب، مع دفع بؤر منها الى الداخل السوري المحرر، فالمطلوب هو على قدر طموح الثلاثي المخطط وبالتناسب مع امكانات داعش على احداث تخريب وعرقلة، وليس إلحاق هزيمة كما كان المشروع الارهابي في نموذج 2015.

لذلك يعتقد اصحاب التعاون الكردي ـ التركي ان الدولة السورية هي أكثر خطر عليهما، من أي موضع آخر لأنه يستهدف كليهما ولا يتواطأ مع أي طرف ضد الطرف الآخر.

هذا ما يسمح بالجمع بين الكردي ـ التركي لإنقاذ دوريهما التفكيكي في سورية، الى التقاتل بعد وقف تقدم الدولة السورية نحو ادلب، اما الدور التركي في هذا المشروع فهو الاستمرار في مراوغة الروس في ادلب وتنظيم الارهاب في مناطقها، وارسال وحدات عسكرية نوعية اليها، لذلك تشهد ادلب حالياً معارك كبيرة بين الفصائل الارهابية التي تحتلها وذلك للإبقاء على التنظيمات الداعشية الموالية فقط للمشروع الأميركي الجديد وليس لإعادة بناء دولة خلافة مزعومة اصبحت بعد انتصارات الجيش السوري، سراباً له طابع الخرافة والاساطير.

هذه إذا «قسد» المتوجهة لأن تكون ضحية الاستخدام الأميركي في سورية، ولم تتعلم حتى الآن ان الدول الكبرى تستخدم بعض أحلام القوى التقسيمية لتحقيق مصالحها فقط.

كما ان تركيا لم تعرف حتى الآن ان سورية العثمانية انتهت الى الأبد، وليس عليها الا الانسحاب وتسليم المناطق التي تحتلها الى الدولة السورية لأنها لن تتمكن من حمايتها من سورية المصرّة على تحرير آخر حبة تراب من مساحاتها.

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 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.

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

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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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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AZERBAIJANI FORCES PUSH TO SEIZE LARGEST KARABAKH CITY. DRONES STRIKE TARGETS INSIDE ARMENIA

Azerbaijani Forces Push To Seize Largest Karabakh City. Drones Strike  Targets Inside Armenia - YouTube
Video

On October 2, the Armenian-Azerbaijani war entered its 5th day. Forces of the Azerbaijani military, supported by Turkey, continued their attempts to capture the contested Nagorno-Karabakh Region and to dismantle the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which is overwhelmingly populated by Armenians.

Intense artillery duels and Azerbaijani airstrikes are being reported across the entire frontline in Karabakh, and even near some parts of the Azerbaijani-Armenian border. Nonetheless, the main clashes still take place in the districts of Fizuli and Jabrayil, where Azerbaijan have achieved their main gains capturing several positions from the Armenians. The Azerbaijani artillery together with Turkish-made and Israeli-made combat drones played a key role in the tactical successes of Azerbaijan on the battlefield.

On October 1, the Armenian military even claimed that 4 Azerbeijani combat drones entered Armenian airspace and 3 of them were shot down, allegedly by the S-300 system. Additionally, the Armenian Defense Ministry claimed that its forces had shot down three Azerbaijani fighter jets and two helicopters. The Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan dismissed the Armenian claims, calling them “complete nonsense and fake news.”

It insists that the Armenian side uses claims about attacks on its territory in an attempt to trigger the Collective Security Treaty Organization pact and obtain direct military support from Russia in the conflict in Karabakh, which formally is not its territory. What is even more strange, despite the 5 days of open war, the Armenian leadership has still not started the process for the recognition of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic or the official integration of the region into Armenia. Therefore, it has no even theoretical legal grounds to request CSTO help in a conflict on its territory.

Meanwhile, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, known for its anti-Assad and pro-militant stance in the Syrian conflict, reported that dozens of Turkish-backed Syrian militants had been killed, injured or went missing while fighting against Armenian forces in Karabakh. According to the SOHR, 28 of them were killed and 62 others were injured or went missing. The report alleges that at least 850 Turkish-backed Syrian militants were deployed there. It should be noted that, according to Armenian estimates, their number is about 4,000. France and Russia also expressed their concern regarding the moving of militants to the region. In turn, Azerbaijani and Turkish media and officials insist that Armenia deploys members of Kurdish armed groups, considered to be terrorists by Ankara, to the combat zone. Nonetheless, these claims have not so far been supported by any evidence.

The self-styled Neo-Ottoman Empire of President Recent Tayyip Erdogan is on a full-scale propaganda offensive to instigate an Armenian-Azerbaijani war.

On October 1, the United States, Russia and France released a joint statement condemning the violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, calling on the sides to accept a ceasefire and return to the negotiating table. In response, President Erdogan made a fierce statement slamming the OSCE and claiming that Azerbaijan should continue its military push to capture the Nagorno-Karabakh region and thus the war with Armenia.

“I would like to declare that we are together with our brothers in Azerbaijan in their struggle for the liberation of their occupied land. The path to lasting peace in this region lies through the withdrawal of Armenia from all the spans of the Azerbaijani lands occupied by them,” Erdogan said addressing the Turkish Parliament. “Especially the so-called Minsk trio America, Russia, France and their seeking of a ceasefire in the face of this negative situation, which has been reflected these days because they have neglected this problem for nearly 30 years, is above all not acceptable,” he added.

In the best traditions of Turkish public diplomacy, Erdogan simultaneously accused Armenia of triggering the military escalation. Meanwhile, Turkish state media reported that during the recent phone call Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov that Turkey sees no reason for a ceasefire in Karabakh for as long as the region remains in the hands of Armenian forces.

Earlier, the Turkish leadership at the highest level declared that it is ready to provide any help, including military, to Baku. The Armenian side claims that Turkey is in fact participating in the war on the side of Azerbaijan.

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