Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev made a declaration on Wednesday, just 24 hours after a significant military triumph, stating that his government would transform the highly-disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region into “a paradise.” Following a military operation against the pro-Armenian forces of the self-proclaimed “Republic of Artsakh” (the Armenian name for Nagorno-Karabakh), Azerbaijan announced a cease-fire with mediation assistance from the Russians.
During the short-lived clashes, approximately 200 people were killed and an additional 400 injured. Numerous confused inhabitants flocked to the airport in the capital city of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Refugees being evacuated
This represents a resounding triumph for Azerbaijan. As per the agreement, the Azeris will establish a “humanitarian corridor” to facilitate the evacuation of Armenian residents. Furthermore, a meeting has been arranged between Azeri representatives and the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh, slated for Thursday, to discuss the process of their “reintegration.” This development affects an estimated 120,000 individuals, and it is presumed that a significant majority will not be interested in remaining under Azeri governance.
Reports indicate the cease-fire agreement entails the complete removal of the Armenian military from the region where Russian peacekeeping forces are stationed in Nagorno-Karabakh. Additionally, it requires the complete disarmament of Armenian forces and the removal of heavy weaponry and equipment from the area. Should these reports turn out to be accurate, it signifies a decisive defeat for the pro-Armenian forces in the region and a resounding success for Azerbaijan.
It seems that Azerbaijan secured a major triumph, with Israeli assistance playing a significant role. Azerbaijan stands as one of the primary purchasers of Israeli defense technologies, acquiring a diverse array of systems. On the Monday preceding the commencement of the Azeri operation, a delegation from Israel’s security sector, led by Major General Eyal Zamir, the director-general of the Defense Ministry, visited Baku and held meetings with high-ranking Azeri officials.
Russian soldiers evacuating residents from Nagorno-Karabakh
(Photo: AFP PHOTO/ HANDOUT / RUSSIAN DEFENCE MINISTR)
If there’s one country that is less-than-thrilled about Israeli-Azeri cooperation, it’s Iran, Azerbaijan’s close neighbor. Reports from Nagorno-Karabakh suggest Iranian UAVs were dispatched by the Islamic Republic to monitor the situation closely, and Iranian media began spreading rumors about Israeli and Turkish involvement in Azeri military operations. “We will not tolerate any Zionist involvement in realigning borderlines in this region,” the reports said.