From the first minutes of the start of new large-scale hostilities in the zone of the Karabakh conflict, officials in Yerevan and Stepanakert (the capital of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic) pointed to the direct participation of Turkey in preparing an Azerbaijani offensive along the entire line of contact. Armenian experts also speak about this, citing rather convincing arguments.
Ankara does not even particularly hide that it is actually an active side in the ongoing battles in Karabakh. Moreover, as noted by the Armenian media and representatives of the expert community, the Turkish military-political leadership with all its appearance makes it clear that it participated at all stages of preparation for a sharp aggravation of the situation in the conflict region. Turkey’s state-owned media provide live coverage, and the country’s war correspondents were previously deployed to cover the events, although Baku continues to claim it is conducting a “counteroffensive” in response to “provocations” by the Armenian side.Russia for its part has called for calm between the two sides, and a return to the barely held ceasefire which has been cobbled together over hundreds of futile meetings over the past few years.The Kremlin appears wary of alienating Azerbaijan, and has straddled a line between supporting ‘both sides’ economically, while arming both as well. But Turkey has firmly lined up behind Azerbaijan, leaving Armenia feeling alienated by its traditional partner.
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar demands an immediate end to the “aggression against Azerbaijan.” Turkish Parliament Speaker Mustafa Shentop goes further, openly calling Armenia a “terrorist state”.
One of the leading Armenian Turkologists, Academician Ruben Safrastyan , expressed his opinion in connection with the unfolding events today, September 27 .
“There are at least three factors, on the basis of which one can safely say one thing – Turkey was not only aware that Azerbaijan was preparing a military provocation on the border with Karabakh, but also directly participated in the preparation of this operation,” the expert noted.
According to him, Turkish journalists from the Anadolu state news agency and the TRT state TV channel are broadcasting live from the battlefield from the very first minutes when Azerbaijani artillery began to fire at the settlements of Nagorno-Karabakh.
“It can only mean one thing. For an ideological attack, the Turkish mass media field was prepared in advance. That is, they were aware of when, where and how hostilities would begin. And the very diplomatic channels of Turkey quickly reacted to the suspicion to the outbreak of hostilities along the entire perimeter of the Karabakh-Azerbaijani line of contact, ” Safrastyan said.
The second factor, which, according to the Armenian academician, is no less important, is the story with “confidential” information, which has been received almost through open diplomatic channels and news agencies over the past few days. It is about the transfer of a group of militants from Syria to Azerbaijan . According to Safrastyan, this information fully corresponded to reality. Moreover, even the figure that has flashed in several publications in recent days – it was about three hundred mercenary militants who have undergone training and have experience in military operations on the Syrian fronts – is true, says a Turkologist.
“They relocated in stages, and their arrival on Azerbaijani territory confirms that Ankara and Baku acted in one bundle,” Safrastyan stressed.
The third factor testifying to the tight involvement of Ankara in what is happening, he calls the presence of Turkish armored vehicles, artillery and rocket launchers, drones and even the Turkish Armed Forces on Azerbaijani territory. “There is reliable information that a part of this (Turkish) equipment and military personnel, brought both to Nakhichevan and to the territory of flat Karabakh, did not return to Turkey after military exercises and demonstration flights . I stayed there, on Azerbaijani territory, ”the expert concludes.
It should also be noted that the Azerbaijani-Turkish “tandem” developed activity in the Karabakh conflict zone literally the next day after the end of the Kavkaz-2020 strategic command and staff exercises , which took place in the zone of responsibility of the Southern Military District of Russia from 21 to 26 September.
Armenia sees the threat of an attack by Azerbaijan from other directions, in addition to the Karabakh conflict zone, which is why it was decided to impose martial law and a general mobilization was announced. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said this today, September 27 , speaking at the National Assembly (Parliament) of the republic.
“Yes, there is such a threat. But if I now say what directions we are talking about, it will devalue the intelligence that we have, ” the head of the Armenian government said. Pashinyan added that the situation is currently extremely tense, and in this context it is unpredictable. ” The prime minister stressed: it is necessary to understand that what is happening is large-scale military actions and everything is possible here. “This is not a movie where there must be a“ happy end ”. We must provide this “happy end” ourselves, ” Pashinyan said.
Early in the morning of September 27, Azerbaijan began an intensive shelling of settlements in Nagorno-Karabakh, including the capital of the republic of Stepanakert, going on the offensive along the entire line of contact. There are casualties on both sides.
Yerevan previously reported 16 dead Armenian servicemen. It was also indicated that Azerbaijan suffers heavy losses in personnel and armored vehicles, 3 helicopters and more than 15 enemy drones were shot down. According to the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan, the country’s armed forces are advancing in the direction of the Agderin and Terter regions (Mardakert), in the Fizuli and Jebrail directions. In Armenia, by order of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, martial law and general mobilization have been declared. Azerbaijan also announced the introduction of martial law on its territory.