As of October 26, 2020, Azerbaijan’s large-scale aggression against the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), a historically Armenian region, is ongoing. Statements issued by the international community, including the United States, on the escalation of conflict along the line of contact between Artsakh and Azerbaijan condemn the use of force and the undermining of regional peace and stability.
There is widespread evidence demonstrating that it is Azerbaijan which initiated this conflict in September 2020. Azerbaijan has since violated multiple ceasefire agreements, including the most ceasefire announced yesterday by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Notably, Turkey—which perpetrated concurrent genocides against Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians in the Ottoman Empire more than a century ago—has been supporting Azerbaijan in the context of the conflict over Artsakh since the 1990s. The situation on the ground clearly indicates that the people of Artsakh are fighting against an Azerbaijani-Turkish alliance.
Artsakh and Armenia, with a combined population of three million, face an existential threat from the Azerbaijani-Turkish alliance. Azerbaijan has targeted innocent civilians, schools, and homes in Artsakh, resulting in hundreds of deaths and injuries, including those of children. In addition, Armenia and Artsakh have reported hundreds of military deaths since the beginning of the conflict, among them at least five soldiers of Assyrian background—the youngest of them 19-years-old. Their names are:
The tragic loss of life only underscores the need for an end to Azerbaijani-Turkish aggression on Artsakh and Armenia. The United States must strongly condemn Azerbaijan’s hostility and violence against the Armenians of Artsakh and demand unambiguously that Turkey remove itself from the conflict. The international community must recognize the independence of the Republic of Artsakh and its people’s right to self-determination. The only way to bring a comprehensive and enduring peace in the region is to enable the people of Artsakh to determine their own future.
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The Assyrian Policy Institute works to support Assyrians as they struggle to maintain their rights to the lands they have inhabited for thousands of years, their ancient language, equal opportunities in education and employment, and to full participation in public life.