Azerbaijan Armed Forces are insisting to maintain the superiority in the battle field, not to let Armenian side recapture the liberated areas - Turkish expert | Eurasia Diary -

27 November, Friday

Azerbaijan Armed Forces are insisting to maintain the superiority in the battle field, not to let Armenian side recapture the liberated areas - Turkish expert

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Eurasia Diary conducted an interview with Yalçın Sarıkaya, Turkish expert on international relations regarding Armenia-Azerbaijan military clashes over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Yalçın Sarıkaya is Foreign Policy Researches Coordinator of TASAV.

- Mr Sarıkaya, we first ask you to express your opinion on Armenian missile attacks on the residential settlements in Ganja and other cities of Azerbaijan.

First of all, not only as a Turkish academician but also a responsible human, I strongly condemn the terrorist aggression and attack of Armenia towards Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani people. Those acts are total destruction of the so called ceasefire that has been reached by two states’ ministers of foreign affairs in Moscow under Russian mediation. International law bans the use of force or threat of force in conduct of international relations while providing for only two valid exceptions to this rule: individual or collective self-defense and collective action authorized by the UNSC. Use of force towards a state assumed as “intervention” according to the international law. Intervention means with such actions which violate the normative principle of sovereignty of states and those actions which are lack of intervened state’s consent. By these very clear definitions; Armenia is guilty from all aspects of international law because of its invasion that begun in 1992 and hopefully will end by Azerbaijan’s ongoing counter offensive. The main documents on the legal basis of Azerbaijan’s self-defence right in these circumstances are UN Charter and well known UNSC Resolutions on Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Despite this very indisputable situation Armenia refuses and rejects to withdraw its occupying forces from Azerbaijani territory for almost 30 years, has been violating the Bishkek Protocol of 1994 since its very beginning, bringing foreign fighters and members of terrorist organizations to the region, demolishing the cultural heritage of the region, using the economic capacity of the occupied land, and Armenia gains from all of them.  After the breakout of the ongoing war the Armenia did not satisfy and stop at that position, in addition to this, chose to attack by tactical ballistic missiles to the civilian regions of intensely populated Azerbaijani cities including Ganja, Mingechevir, Terter, Berde, Beylagan, Xizi. Those attacks caused death of many civil Azerbaijanis including children. None of them were affective on military targets. This is an additional clear evidence both for understanding Armenia’s aggression and their tactics on the area.

- How should the international community react to Armenian terrorism?

Unfortunately the international community did not react to wild attacks of Armenia. At this point first and the most responsible side is Russian side as a ceasefire mediator. Azerbaijan is a full member state of Commonwealth of Independent States. It is not a secret that this international organization is centred in Moscow. Millions of Azerbaijanis are living in big Russian cities. Furthermore these realities have been told by Mr. Putin to audience a few days ago as well. But Russia still endeavours to ensure a referee position concerning the conflict even they observe the obvious violation of Armenia. Secondly the Western world seems totally blind to the facts. One should not expect their media to report from Azerbaijani cities which were shot by giant Armenian missiles after Ganja attack. There had been numerous attacks before that. The civilian casualties are growing day by day. However nobody witnesses conscientious and fair declarations of EU, OSCE or European states. A similar position is valid for the USA probably and overwhelmingly because of the ongoing presidential election process. Nowadays the candidates are playing towards votes only including the American Armenians. On the other hand I witness that the Arab media is somehow divided. UAE and Saudi financed examples want to combine the issue directly with Turkey and they debauchedly send support messages in their line spaces to Armenian side. This is because of the monarchic hysteria and deep connections with some international bodies and this shows that some monarchies forget about their legal responsibilities as member states of Islamic Cooperation Council. But some of the Arab media and especially the majority of the Arab speaking users of social media openly and strongly support Azerbaijan in its just war. Unfortunately the Turkic world did not react as expected by Azerbaijan but the Turkic Council which contains 5 Turkic Republics stated clear support for Azerbaijani territorial integrity and its solidarity with that. There are many international organizations which are registered to the UN and still do not react to the conflict in legal manner.

- Do you think that Azerbaijan has right to liberate its territories from occupation through military means in accordance with international law?

I believe that Azerbaijani presidency and government works to activate and inform them within its best capacity. Turkey also makes continual calls for international legal and just attitude towards the issue. After the attacks from Armenian territory towards Azerbaijan’s various cities, Azerbaijan had two options. First, to go on fighting in its own territory, second to counter attack to Armenia. Since those Armenian attacks are very clear interventions to a sovereign state, Azerbaijan has a right to respond. Both options had risks. Prior risk of the first option is to lose human life, secondly the deterioration of national moral level and probably lose of the stock gains of former two weeks in conflict area. Second option had the risk to be blamed as an aggressor by third parties, reluctantly to crack the intervention door open for Russia and finally the probable counter attacks. In my opinion Baku has chosen the first option by detailed work on the further scenarios of the ongoing war. Now the Azerbaijan Armed Forces are insisting to maintain the superiority in the battle field, not to let Armenian side recapture the liberated areas, also target the prepared rocket systems and all kinds of launchers which are detrimental and dangerous for the security in the region. As easily can be observed from the media, especially social media this choice reflects almost all of the Azerbaijani public opinion in any cases. Besides, Turkish public opinion also strongly supports the Azerbaijani counter offensive to ensure the total territorial integration of Azerbaijan. Russia’s rapid response to the preemptive and preventive action of Azerbaijan towards Armenian launchers in Armenian territory is a call for the installation of a Russian peacemaking force but this is quite risky for Azerbaijan’s position in the battle. There will not be any guarantee for further Armenian attacks and the so called peace force will probably be a tool of Moscow to be used in the future. If Russia wants to ensure a final peace between these states, Moscow should use its power of influence on Yerevan in order to provide their withdrawal. And if Russia wants to overcome it by a new peacemaking force the installation should be inside Armenian territory.

Interviewed by Yunis Abdullayev

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