The military conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia is becoming bloodier by the day. As reported by the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, the number of Syrian mercenaries dead had crossed the hundred mark by 11th October. The deaths of Turkish sponsored mercenaries backing Azerbaijan, signal the war tilting in favour of Armenia.
Russia has been providing Armenians arms, ammunition and strategists, most of which is being transported through Iran. The dynamics are becoming very clear with Iran and Russia taking the side of Armenia to stop Azerbaijan which is dancing on Ankara’s tunes.
Read more: Iran will soon have no choice but to help a Christian Armenia in its war against Turkey and Azerbaijan
Turkey for long has denied sending Syrian mercenaries to the Azeri-Armenian conflict, but it is just lying with a straight face. Many human rights organizations and journalists have confirmed their presence. And now as reported by The Washington Post, the bodies are being sent back from the warzone to their Syrian homes in trucks. In the report, a cousin of one of the dead fighters said, “they went to break the borders.”
Moscow has been following a fine diplomatic line, but on the question of Turkey sending mercenaries to the southern Caucuses and their use by Azerbaijan, strong reactions have come from Russia, with the Foreign Intelligence Chief Sergei Naryshkin saying the region could become a launchpad of Islamist militants entering Russia.
The Russians have been transporting arms and ammunition to the Armenians through Iran. It is because Iran has friendly relations with Armenia and the two countries enjoy great economic engagement and transportation connectivity. The attempt by Azerbaijan to stoke ethnic divisions in northern Iran led to the Iranians in that area protesting for the closure of borders with Armenia, and this has further shifted Iran in the Russia-Armenian block.
Putin has played the long game, by giving Erdogan enough ground to run amok and do his little shenanigans. He has shown Iran how dangerous staying neutral will be for it as well as the region. And by letting Azerbaijan and Turkey showcase their newfound friendship, Moscow has made Tehran more skeptical of Baku’s intentions.
Read more: Nagorno-Karabakh situation: Putin has defeated Erdogan without firing a single shot
Iran faces the ever-present threat of the Azeri Turk minority demanding realigning the borders based on ethnic lines if the war spills into the Iranian side of the border. Both Russia and Iran have understood that & as the war is becoming more gruesome by the day, it may soon spiral out of control engulfing the whole region into an uncontrollable mix of ethnic & religious conflict.
The death-toll tells the scale of the situation. The Armenians said that the death toll in their military has increased to 604, as on the 16th of October. Azerbaijan has shied away from releasing the death toll, but it is expected to be high. Azerbaijani authorities have claimed to have killed 2,300 Armenians and Armenians have claimed to have killed 5000 Azeri soldiers as on the 13th of October. While Armenia claimed the death of 35 civilians by 12th October and Azerbaijan claimed that 46 civilians’ deaths on 11th October. The Azerbaijan military has been conducting public executions in the Nagorno Karabakh region occupied during the fighting as claimed by the Armenian side. Therefore, the rising casualties are nowhere close to a stop.
The Erdogan Government thought that by instigating Azerbaijan to go all out in the conflict, it will be able to gain the energy resources as well as permanent influence in the region. However, Putin won’t allow the previously USSR territories to become someone else’s grazing ground, and Iran too wants the conflict to end before it destroys the already cracking social fabric in the country which houses large Armenian and Azeri minorities.
Thus, Armenia with the help of Russian arms and ammunition support as well as private militia groups from Russia which are coming from Iran will be tilting the war in its favour. This will totally destroy any possibility of Turkey gaining ground in the southern Caucuses.
Azerbaijan in the meantime will be possibly forced to come to the table and move towards an immediate peace settlement, which will be overseen by Russia and Iran. Thus, from the looks of it moving forward, the middle-eastern war has tilted in the favor of Armenia with the farsighted help of Putin.
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