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Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh Has the Potential To Blow Up into a Bigger War

Sept. 29, 2020 (EIRNS)—With NATO member Turkey flagrantly supporting Azerbaijan, and Russia having a mutual defense agreement with Armenia, there is a great potential for the war over Nagorno-Karabakh between Azerbaijan and Armenia to blow up into a much larger war involving NATO itself and Russia.

Armenian President Armen Sarkissian charged during an address to a NATO cybersecurity conference yesterday that Turkey is supporting Azerbaijan in its attack on Artsakh (the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh republic) with its F-16 fighter jets. “Unfortunately I have to declare that NATO member Turkey is fully supporting Azerbaijan now through its electronic drones—through cyberattacks. But it’s not only that. Turkey is supporting Azerbaijan also through their personnel, advisers, mercenaries and also with their F-16s,” he was quoted as saying by Armenpress on Sept. 28. “For every Armenian living worldwide that’s sort of a return of the ghost. Why I say ghost, because that’s the ghost of the Ottoman Empire, that 105 years ago masterminded the Armenian Genocide. There’s no way that we can allow that this genocide happen again.”

Armenian Ambassador to Russia Vardan Toganyan also warned yesterday that his country would use its Russian-made Iskander missiles if Turkey began to use F-16s in Karabakh, explaining that his country has sufficient air defense systems to get rid of Turkish drones. “The military leadership has repeatedly stated that if the Sword of Damocles was deployed in the form of Turkish F-16 fighters on the Karabakh people, all measures would be taken, including the use of the Iskanders,” he said. “That is, the Armed Forces of Armenia would have to fully use their arsenal to ensure security.” It’s not clear how many Iskanders Armenia has in its inventory, but Russia delivered a batch of the Iskander-E export version to Armenia in 2016. There is also a Russian missile regiment stationed in Armenia equipped with Iskander missiles, further indicating the blow-up potential of the war.

Azerbaijan does not have any F-16s in its air force, so if there are any appearing in the skies over Karabakh, they are Turkish. In any case, the Azeris are denying the accusation as Armenian disinformation.

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