Na­tional army’s ex­er­cises frighten Ar­me­nia

Azer News - - Karabakh Conflict - By Rashid Shiri­nov

The mes­sage by Azer­bai­jan’s De­fense Min­istry reads that the ex­er­cises in­volve up to 20,000 mil­i­tary per­son­nel, about 120 tanks and other ar­mored ve­hi­cles, more than 200 rocket and ar­tillery mounts of dif­fer­ent cal­iber, mul­ti­ple launch rocket sys­tems and mor­tars, roughly 30 units of army and front­line avi­a­tion.

As might be ex­pected, Ar­me­nian of­fi­cials, be­ing un­able to hide their fear, be­gan ac­cus­ing Azer­bai­jan of an al­leged vi­o­la­tion of some in­ter­na­tional doc­u­ments, fail­ure to no­tify about the mil­i­tary ex­er­cises and other fic­tional evils. Even be­fore the ex­er­cises started, Ed­mon Marukyan, mem­ber of the Ar­me­nian del­e­ga­tion to PACE, made an­other ab­surd state­ment: “It is nec­es­sary to take ef­fec­tive mea­sures to pre­vent the mil­i­tary ad­ven­ture of Azer­bai­jan, which will be a hu­man­i­tar­ian dis­as­ter not only for Ar­me­nia, but also for the en­tire South Cau­ca­sus.”

How­ever, Azer­bai­jan is not obliged to no­tify any­one about its mil­i­tary ex­er­cises, since they are con­ducted within the in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized bor­ders of the coun­try. In con­trast, it is Ar­me­nia who has re­peat­edly car­ried out mil­i­tary ex­er­cises in the oc­cu­pied lands of Azer­bai­jan, thus show­ing its dis­re­spect to the norms and prin­ci­ples of in­ter­na­tional law.

Ar­me­nia it­self has long ago caused the “hu­man­i­tar­ian dis­as­ter” to the re­gion by trig­ger­ing the Nagorno-Karabakh war and oc­cu­py­ing 20 per­cent of Azer­bai­jan’s ter­ri­tory. This first hurt more than a mil­lion of Azer­bai­ja­nis, who be­came refugees and IDPs due to the war; and then, the Ar­me­ni­ans them­selves, those who lived in NagornoKarabakh, be­came the vic­tims of the Ar­me­nian oc­cu­pier au­thor­i­ties’ ac­tions. Those peo­ple had lived in the once flour­ish­ing re­gion of Azer­bai­jan, but now they have to re­side in the for­mer bat­tle­field with build­ings and in­fra­struc­ture de­stroyed dur­ing the Ar­me­nian in­va­sion. More­over, Ar­me­nia’s ag­gres­sion against Azer­bai­jan has also many times wors­ened the econ­omy of Ar­me­nia and the well-be­ing of its pop­u­la­tion.

Af­ter Marukyan, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the sep­a­ratist regime in Nagorno-Karabakh David Babayan also made a ridicu­lous state­ment, say­ing “Azer­bai­jan is close to the red line” and “we are stronger.” Marukyan must heed the words of his com­pa­triot Karen Var­danyan, Chair­man of the Union of In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy En­ter­prises, who clearly ad­mits that Azer­bai­jan has an ob­vi­ous ad­van­tage over Ar­me­nia in the mil­i­tary in­dus­trial sphere.

“The gen­er­als al­ways fight ac­cord­ing to the logic of the past war: Azer­bai­jan uses the most mod­ern un­manned sys­tems against us, and now Azer­bai­jan has more de­vel­oped weapons cre­ated by the lat­est tech­nolo­gies, while Ar­me­nian gen­er­als are fight­ing with the weapons of the April war in 2016,” he has told Ar­me­nian me­dia.

More­over, re­ports of in­ter­na­tional mil­i­tary sur­vey cen­ters, such as of the Global Fire­power, con­firm that the Azer­bai­jani army is sev­eral times su­pe­rior to the army of Ar­me­nia both in terms of the num­ber of per­son­nel and weapons, and their qual­ity.

Presently, the Ar­me­nian me­dia dis­sem­i­nate re­ports about the “high pa­tri­otic spirit” of Ar­me­nian ser­vice­men who are “ready to avert the Azer­bai­jani threat.” Ob­vi­ously, this is an­other pro­pa­ganda ploy by Ar­me­nia. Azer­bai­jan has re­peat­edly noted that it is not go­ing to fight with Ar­me­nia – it only in­tends to drive out the oc­cu­pa­tion forces of the ag­gres­sor coun­try that are il­le­gally lo­cated in the in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized ter­ri­to­ries of Azer­bai­jan. No coun­try or in­ter­na­tional struc­ture can pro­hibit Baku from do­ing this, since no in­ter­na­tional doc­u­ment pro­hibits coun­tries from restor­ing their ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity by mil­i­tary means if other pos­si­bil­i­ties are ex­hausted. There­fore, the Ar­me­nian au­thor­i­ties must stop play­ing for time and hurry to se­ri­ously join the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble with Azer­bai­jan to re­solve the NagornoKarabakh con­flict by peace­ful means.

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