Deserted Outposts Narrate Tale of Nagorno-Karabakh Seizure by Azerbaijan

29

Perched high in the mountains of Nagorno-Karabakh, remnants of a hastily evacuated Armenian outpost reveal the swift and brutal loss they endured at the hands of Azerbaijan. A stone’s throw away, another deserted outpost has a log book, its abandoned pages marking the last communication stating, “Everything is under control.”

These poignant relics narrate a tale of an overnight seizure of the region by Azerbaijani forces, changing the course of stasis sustained over three decades. A conflict that steeped the region in blood had left it resting in the Armenians’ hands until it was abruptly wrenched away.

Follow us on Google News! ✔️


The turbulence of battle claimed the lives of about 200 Azerbaijani soldiers with almost 500 left wounded as per official reports. Yet the specifics surrounding their fall during this rapid operation remains shrouded in secrecy. On a media tour of the battle-torn region, the Azerbaijani military veil over these details was impenetrable.

Testimony from one soldier, serving as an unnamed spokesman, suggested a balanced fusion of targeted artillery strikes and infantry that seized the ground from Armenian forces. The latter, equipped with an armored vehicle, two tanks, and snipers, had commandeered a superior elevated position.

International visibility into the region remains restricted, with even UN and Red Cross teams limited to the regional capital, Khankendi, christened Stepanakert by the Armenians. International media institutions including BBC were barred from entering the city on the grounds of it not being secure.

The aftereffects of the sudden takeover resembled a haunting movie scene – belongings left behind in a hurried exit, streets devoid of life, a ghost town in the true sense. A significant displacement followed in the wake of the seizure with virtually the entire Armenian population, estimated to be 120,000, fleeing Nagorno-Karabakh.

Amidst this upheaval, Azerbaijani officials like Hikmet Hajiyev, the foreign policy advisor to their president, maintain the stance of a peaceful reintegration of the civilian population. Hajiyev further reassured that the exodus was neither coerced nor prompted by force.

Contrarily, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and other international entities have condemned this abrupt operation, accusing the Azerbaijanis of ethnic cleansing. The seige undermines the tenuous relationship between the two states, characterized by a shared history steeped in violent conflict and decades of friction.

The recent skirmishes can be backtracked to a 44-day battle in 2020 that engendered a tragic toll of 7,000 military and 170 civilian lives. This concluded with a Russian-brokered peace agreement that left some of the key regions in Armenian control. The celebratory fervor that enveloped Azerbaijan post that conflict was conspicuously absent this time.

Upon reflection, Zaur Mammadov, an Azerbaijani telecoms engineer, felt more relief than joy at the recapture of Karabakh. Mammadov, forced to abandon his home at the tender age of nine during the 1993 clashes, could now consider purchasing a home in the newly reclaimed territories.

After thirty years of yearning, Mammadov and many others like him are welcoming their long-awaited homecoming with a profound sense of quiet satisfaction, echoing the sentiment, “Now it is here.”