Fighting Heats Up Someplace “Over There”

Riley Landowski, Furrin Affairs Desk

Although many Americans might not be able to find the area on a map, international observers are getting worried about war in a sensitive region north of Iran.

One week ago in the Caucasus mountains, skirmishes between Azerbaijan and Armenia resumed as the greater Nagorno-Karabakh conflict still persists today. Casualties of these recent skirmishes are not official, however [according to?] at least 230 people have died, including civilians and service members. In fact, the Associated Press reports as many as 600 total deaths as of this writing.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a region in the Caucasus that is controlled by Azerbaijan but ruled by ethnic Armenians. This came about with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, when borders were hastily made. Large scale war was fought over the Nagorno-Karabakh region between 1980-1994. [why-what’s worth killing each other over?]

On September 27th, Armenia claimed Azerbaijan launched air and artillery attacks on the province. Meanwhile Azerbaijan claims it was performing a military counter-offensive against attacks launched by Armenians. 

The risk of the conflict drawing in of foreign powers is a possibility. NATO member Turkey has strong economic ties with Azerbaijan but very strained relations with Armenia.  Not far to the north, Russia also has a strong influence in the region. Although Russia has strong economic ties with both countries and supplies both militarily, Armenia houses a Russian military base and is part of the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union. So while it is unlikely that foreign powers would step on Russian toes to intervene militarily; it is always a possibility. 

The EU has called for an immediate cease to fighting; this was echoed by the UN and the U.S. Russia itself has taken a cautious approach in the area, having asked the president of Armenia “halt military action.”

This reporter asked two random students about their reaction to the skirmishes between Azerbaijan and Armenia that are being fought over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.  Their responses are as follows: Bailey [who?] had to say “I didn’t even know that those were a country or even a people, but its messed up that they are destroying each others homes just to claim land.”

This was followed by Kristin’s statement, “I have no reaction.” As you can see, this region is not well known to most Americans and for a fair reason.