By Walid & Theodore Shoebat
Armenians and Azerbaijanis are killing each other, in another ethnic conflict that is dangerously reoccurring in the Eastern world, where land is held more sacred than human life. So far dozens of people have been killed and hundreds wounded. The two nations are fighting over a region called Nagorno-Karabakh which is within Azerbaijan and but mainly inhabited by Armenians. Armenia lays claim to the region which is ruled under a de facto government called the Republic of Artsakh which is backed by Russia. But this independence of the region is rejected by NATO and its allies who support Azerbaijani sovereignty; thus why the United States, Turkey, Israel and Germany are backing Azerbaijan, while Russia and Iran support Armenia. The ethnic conflict is a continuation of Cold War proxy conflicts where the world’s two superpowers — the US and Russia — are competing over influence through rival nations.
This is not just a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but a conflict between Turkey and Armenia, since the Turks are using the Azeris as proxies against their enemy. The president of the de facto Republic of Artsakh in Nagorno-Karabakh, Arain Harutyunyan, affirmed that Turkey is sending in volunteer fighters from other regions in Armenia: “It is not Azerbaijan that is fighting against Artsakh, it is Turkey that is fighting. Not only drones, not only planes, but also military units, the military, and so on. I am not talking about mercenaries, I am not talking about [volunteers] from other countries,” the Artsakh President stressed. The volunteers he is speaking of are fighters from the war in Syria. Instead of fighting other Muslims in Syria, they are now being sent into Azerbaijan to fight their biggest enemies, the Christians. This was confirmed by the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army, General Ziyad Hajji Ubayd, who said:
“The fighters have to go to the conflict in Azerbaijan to provide for their families due to poor economic conditions …We are ready to fight everywhere for Turkey’s national interests and security. We defend our interests to achieve our goals”.
According to the Guardian, a month ago a private Turkish security company began hiring Syrian rebels to work as border guards between Armenia and Azerbaijan. But now the Turks have sent in hundreds of Syrian rebels into the conflict zone, Nagorno-Karabakh, to fight the Armenians. As the Arab publication, Ajel, reported:
“News reports confirmed that Turkey has recruited several hundred Syrian refugees to fight against Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh region in conflict with Azerbaijan, which is supported by Ankara.”
For years Ankara has been using Syrian rebels as proxies for its foreign policy and expansionism. Turkey has sent Syrian rebels into Libya to fight against the forces of Khalifa Haftar who are mere proxies of the Russians and French. So, since Turkey is backing the Azerbaijanis against the Armenians, it is not surprising that they would send Syrian mercenaries into Nagorno-Karabakh. What we are witnessing is not just a proxy conflict, but the revival of the Turkish empire. We see Turkey in conflict with Greece and Egypt as it encroaches into their maritime territories in the Eastern Mediterranean; we see Turkey leading the fight against (and dominating) the forces of Haftar in Libya ; we see Turkey expanding into Syria; we see Turkey in Iraq and being heavily involved in leading Azerbaijan against Armenia. Turkey is being militarily active in all the regions that she once controlled: in Libya, Syria, Iraq, in Greece’s maritime territory and in the Caucasus, all of these regions were once under the dominion of the Ottomans.
People within the Syrian National Army (SNA) have stated that up to “1,000 jihadists” in their ranks have been deployed in Azerbaijan as mercenaries. According to Turkish journalist Hikmet Durgun, fighters from the SNA have indeed been deployed to Nagorno-Karabakh. According to Arab News: “The Syrian mercenaries were reportedly recruited through an intermediary of the Turkish intelligence agency with a promised monthly wage of $2,000, and transported via Turkish military cargo planes to the Azeri cities of Ganja and Baku using Georgian airspace.” Elizabeth Tsurkov, a fellow at the Center for Global Policy, explained that Syrian fighters were signing up to go to Azerbaijan either through WhatsApp or at Turkish offices within Syria:
“About a month ago, rumors spread on WhatsApp among SNA fighters that they can register to go to Azerbaijan. Many registered over WhatsApp, others apparently through offices in the Turkish-controlled areas. The fighters registered due to the enticing rumored salaries of $2K-$2.5K”.
The Idlib Post posted up a video on Twitter purportedly showing Syrian fighters on their way to Azerbaijan:
— IDLIB POST (@IdlibEn) September 27, 2020
The Idlib Post also posted up a photo purportedly showing a cargo transporter packed full of SNA fighters departing to Azerbaijan via Turkey:
— IDLIB POST (@IdlibEn) September 22, 2020
From Hamza Division source. Supposedly these Hamza men arrived in Baku today via Ankara. pic.twitter.com/lgUcSl1Fkp
— Lindsey Snell (@LindseySnell) September 22, 2020
These fighters are from the al-Hamza division in Syria which was originally a part of the Free Syrian Army back in 2013. They are backed by the Turkish government who use them as fighters in northern Syria, especially in Afrin. Their presence in Afrin has been troublesome, as locals there and in Damascus have demanded their removal after it was reported how the mercenary group held naked women in Al-Hamza prisons. There was even a fierce gun battle between al-Hamza and members of “Ahrar al-Sham” from Damascus’ Al-Ghouta, in which the latter, in collaboration with other factions, were able to take over one of the headquarters of al-Hamza and arrest its members. These gunmen from the Damascus countryside, according to one Syrian report, freed detainees, including women held by Al-Hamza, from their headquarters after al-Hamza gunmen were expelled. Imagine what these killers and sodomizers will do if they ever execute a reign of terror against Armenians.
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry accused Armenia of shelling the region of Dashkesan in Azerbaijan. But Armenian officials accused Azerbaijan of opening fire on an Armenian military unit in the town of Vardenis (which lies between Lake Sevan and the Armenian-Azeri border), setting a bus on fire and killing a civilian. The Armenian government claims that the Azeris made the attack after misinformation was spread that Armenia shelled Dashkesan from Vardenis. The Armenians have been quick to deny that they made any attack on Dashkesan, with Armenia’s Foreign Ministry affirming that Azerbaijan was “expanding the geography of hostilities, including the aggression against the Republic of Armenia.” Reports coming out of Armenia affirm that Azerbaijan attacked Vardenis using an orbiter, or an unmanned aerial vehicle, and there is video footage by Public Radio of Armenia showing an orbiter being shot down by the Armenian military:
In the midst of all of the chaos, there is now a report from the Armenian Ministry of Defense claiming that a Turkish F-16 shot down an Armenian SU-25 jet.
— Government of Armenia (@armgov) September 29, 2020
According to the Armenian Infocenter (which is managed by the Armenian government), the Turkish F-16 departed from the Ganja Airbase in Azerbaijan at around 10:30 am local time, and bombed Armenian forces around the area of Vardenis.
Turkey’s F-16 fighter jet bombed settlements and ground troops of the Armenian Armed Forces around the area of Vardenis. The Armenians then began to utilize anti-aircraft units against the F-16, and a battle ensued between the Turkish jet and an Armenian SU-25 jet. The Turkish fighter jet took out the SU-25, killing the pilot. “Unfortunately, the pilot died heroically,” the Armenian Unified Infocenter said. “The Turkish F16 was around 60km deep into Armenian territory and flying at an altitude of 8200 meters,” the Infocenter added. Both the Turkish and Azeri governments have denied that a Turkish F-16 fought with Armenian forces. But, it is a fact that two months ago Turkey parked F-16s in Azerbaijan and did joint air force training with the Azeris to scare the Armenians. At that time the Armenian government stated that “According to the plan, the situation is evaluated, combat missions are specified, reconnaissance of the area is carried out in real conditions”. The Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan, in response, warned the Azeris that “provocations will not be unanswered”. The Armenian defense minister also said that Armenian troops “do not shell civilian targets in Azerbaijan and only target the engineering infrastructure and technical facilities of the Azerbaijani armed forces”.
The president of the de facto Republic of Artsakh in Nagorno-Karabakh, Arain Harutyunyan, admitted in a news conference that the F-16 story “is not conclusively proven.” But in the same conference he declared that this is not a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but between Armenia and Turkey, denoting the reality of proxy conflicts between NATO and Russia: ”They use the presence of the Turkish army, or rather the main modern weapons and ammunition at hand, drones. The same F-16s, which have been in Azerbaijan for more than a month under the name of regular or joint military exercises , have been used since this morning.” He also pointed out that the Azeris “mainly use modern Turkish drones, which Turkey has been proud of in recent months”.
This is about Turkish control over the Caucasus, just as the Turkish military’s operations in Libya, the Mediterranean, Syria and Iraq, is about establishing control in former Ottoman territories. Soon, there will be no more cold wars, and the masters of the puppets will war against one another. Blood will flow from the mountains, red crimson from the heart of men. The armies of Belial, the sons of Sodom, holding up their red flag emblazoned by the slicing blade of the crescent, will be bent on doing exactly what they have done in the history of forgone days — sodomizing, pillaging and massacring. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” (John 10:10)