Azerbaijan moves to end grey zone in Garabagh
    Baku is unequivocal: Dissolve and disarm!

    ANALYTICS  19 September 2023 - 21:05

    Orkhan Amashov

    Azerbaijan’s anti-terrorism measures, aimed at dismantling and putting an end to what is termed as the 'grey zone' on its sovereign territory - in Garabagh - are no longer in the offing for, as of 19 September, these very measures are being implemented with pinpoint strikes delivering devastating blows to legitimate military targets, with all possible necessary measures being undertaken to ensure the safety of the civilians residing in the region.

    The continuous presence of the illegal separatist junta, propped up by Armenia both militarily and financially, within the zone under the temporary control of the so-called Russian 'peacekeeping' contingent, has long been regarded by Baku as a national security threat, impinging upon Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

    The present juncture comes after an extensive gestation period. Contrary to the 10 November 2020 tripartite statement, it is not just that Armenia obstreperously refused to pull out its armed units from Garabagh, but it continued to send new conscripts to the region, with the evident aim of sustaining and expanding the military capabilities of the separatist entity of its own creation. In addition to this, the junta continued to engage in installing military fortifications and digging trenches under the guise of agricultural work.

    However, the final straw, which broke the camel’s back, was the tragic death of two construction workers and four employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan on the Fuzuli-Shusha highway, due to antitank mines, believed to have been recently planted.

    Presidential Aide Hikmet Hajiyev’s 19 September post on X,  stating that “the illegal separatist puppet regime must dissolve itself, and the Armenian armed stationed in the Garabagh region of Azerbaijan must be disarmed”, bespeaks resolve, without tolerance for any half-measures.

    Simultaneously, Baku reiterated its readiness to meet the representatives of the Armenian residents of Garabagh in Yevlakh, emphasising that, for the anti-terrorism measures to be halted, the key demands concerning “withdrawal”, “dissolution” and "disarmament” should be implemented forthwith.

    This is reflective of the criticality of the present juncture and the inadmissibility of any dialogue between Baku and the local Armenians, prior to the clearly declared and verified disbandment of the separatist junta.

    As to the nature of the military measures taken by Baku in Garabagh, these are pinpoint strikes aimed at legitimate military targets using high-precision, technologically-advanced weapons. The civilian population and infrastructure are not targeted.

    In order to ensure the safety of the Armenian residents of Garabagh, a precautionary measure was taken via loudspeakers, advising civilians to stay away from military and ‘administrative’ areas wherein the separatist junta operates, urging them not to wear military attire or carry weapons. It has also been suggested the Armenian residents should use safe humanitarian corridors to escape the zone of tension.

    Azerbaijan never targets its own citizens – including those of Armenian ethnicity. But it does reserve the right to assert its authority over its own territory.


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