By Theodore Shoebat
Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan has broken out yet again over one of the most disputed territories on earth: Nagorno-Karabach. Over the weekend shelling was fired from both countries. Eleven Azeri soldiers and one Azeri civilian was killed, while Armenia is reporting that four of their soldiers were killed. However, officials from both countries are affirming that no other violent incidents have taken place. Nonetheless, the damage has been done and national tensions are flared up. There was huge demonstration in Azerbaijan with demonstrators calling for a war with Armenia. According to the BBC:
Thousands have demonstrated in Azerbaijan calling for war after recent deadly clashes with neighbouring Armenia.
Protesters marched through the capital Baku demanding the government fully deploy the army, with some even entering the national parliament.
On July 14th of 2020, thousands of Azeris assembled in Baku’s Azadliq Square, holding aloft their national flags and exhorting for the government to deploy soldiers and retake Nagorno-Karabakh which is internationally recognized as belonging to Azerbaijan but is currently under a de facto government ran by the Armenian majority.
The protestors exclaimed: “Karabakh is Azerbaijan!” and “Mobilization!” as they marched through the city toward the national assembly. Some even called for the head of the armed forces to resign.
A small group of protesters went so far as to rush into the building, reportedly smashing windows and chandeliers inside before they were removed by security forces. Protestors were so angry that police had to use water cannon and tear gas to disperse the crowds outside.
Both the Russians and the US have “called for calm”. But the reality is that Azerbaijan is a NATO proxy while Armenia is a Russian proxy, and so one cannot look at this situation without wondering how NATO countries may back Azerbaijan and how Russia may back the Armenians. Turkey, Germany, Israel and the US support Azerbaijan, and we know that Israel has been arming the Azeris against the Armenians, and Russia has a long history of influence in Armenia (during the First World War there was a long and bloody battle between the Russians and Ottomans over the province of Van, which was heavily populated by Armenians). So we cannot look at this situation without considering the greater geopolitical context in which it is occurring.
There is another country that has had a history of strong interest in Azerbaijan, and that is Germany. German military vehicles were recently spotted in Azerbaijan, according to a report from Taz. In a new video, there are trucks seen from all angles. An ignition key can be seen, the Mercedes star, a rifle scope from Bulgarian production and an Israeli gun on the loading area. And then five Daimler trucks can be seen lined up in a row. Then the test shooting begins.
According to the Taz report: “These are clearly trucks from Daimler , painted in camouflage colors, equipped with mortars from the Israeli manufacturer Elbit Systems, model Cardom.” The same report goes on to say:
It is unclear how the trucks got there. The Daimler Group, which not only produces for the civilian market, but also has vehicles with military equipment on offer, claimed on request that it had not sold any armaments to Azerbaijan in April. One cannot understand how the trucks from the videos got there.
An obvious possibility is that Daimler initially sold the trucks to Israel – in a civilian or military version. The company Elbit Systems possibly rebuilt them there, fitted them with their Cardom mortars and delivered them to Azerbaijan.
This is supported, among other things, by the fact that the new video has a “Cardom” logo on the truck doors. Such a deal would also fit into the picture: The Israeli defense industry regularly delivers weapons to the Azerbaijani army – with the approval of the government in Jerusalem.
The German government gave a vague answer when asked about the Daimler trucks in Azerbaijan and the possibility of selling them to Israel: “The Federal Government regularly exchanges information with the Israeli government on foreign and security policy issues. There are regular political consultations with Azerbaijan”.
Israel does have a history of supplying arms to Azerbaijan, and this policy is right in accordance with Neoconservative lobbyists. For example, Michael Rubin, who works for the American Enterprise Institute, and is on the Advisory Board for Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy, supports the arming of Azerbaijan. In one interview that was published by the American Enterprise Institute, Michael Rubin says that Israel should give weapons to Azerbaijan against Armenia, since Armenia has a stronger relationship with Iran than it does with the US. Michael Rubin says:
“The Armenians receive assistance from Iran, and so it would make sense if Azerbaijan could access Israeli weaponry and training. Clearly, neither Armenia nor Russia are sincere about ending the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh. Turkey is occupied elsewhere, and so it makes perfect sense for Azerbaijan to reach out to friends to right a wrong that Azerbaijan has suffered for two decades.”
So, Israel giving weapons to Azerbaijan isn’t just merely Israeli policy, but is in accordance to US policy. Moreover, it does not surprise us to see German military trucks in Azerbaijan, given the long history of German fixation on Azerbaijan and the fact that Germany has wanted, and still wants, the oil in that country (Azerbaijan has some of the biggest oil sources on earth, producing 29 billion cubic meters of gas per year). According to an article by the German Federal Foreign Office: “Azerbaijan is Germany’s principal economic partner in the Caucasus.” It also reads that Germany’s “key exports” to Azerbaijan “are machinery, motor vehicles and components, iron and steel products, and production facilities.” It also states: “Azerbaijan is one of Germany’s ten most important suppliers of crude oil.” In 2018, Trump described Germany as a “captive” of Russia due to Germany getting oil from Russia and also having the Nord Stream 2 pipeline built to transport natural gas directly from Russia. Not too long after Trump said this, Merkel went to Azerbaijan to discuss the creation of a new pipeline by which to transport oil to Europe from the Caspian. According to Reuters:
Castigated by U.S. President Donald Trump as relying too much on Russian gas supplies, German Chancellor Angela Merkel heads to Azerbaijan this week to discuss the development of a southern pipeline to deliver gas to Europe from the Caspian.
The visit underscores Merkel’s openness to finding alternative sources of affordable gas even as she remains committed to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will carry gas directly from Russia under the Baltic Sea to Germany.
“We have a big interest in further developing the Southern Corridor,” a senior German government official said.
“This is part of the EU’s diversification strategy of getting gas from other regions, not just Russia, to Europe.”
We have two countries — Germany and Turkey — who are historic allies and who also back Azerbaijan. The question is: will fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia escalate to the point where other countries will intervene to exploit tensions for the sake of resources and hegemony? It would not be surprising at all to one day see Turkey and Germany intervene in Nagorno-Karabach to back the Azerbaijanis against the Armenians and take oil. Let us not forget that Turkey genocided the Armenians and is itching to resume the extermination of the Armenians, and Germany built the railroad system which expedited the killings.
One thing that we are witnessing is the breakdown of the global order that we have become so used to. As the United States withdraws from her position as the maintainer of the global order — and thus, as the American global security umbrella declines — regional powers in other parts of the globe will resume the pursuit of their aspirations to empire. Trump recently described Germany as “delinquent” and announced that he will be greatly reducing the US’s military presence in Germany:
Watch the Germans use American troop withdraw to then express distrust for the Americans work to revamp and boost up their military capacity.