Khojaly Massacre: Tension rising between Armenia and Azerbaijan
A 24-hour international English-language news channel based in Istanbul, TRT World, has prepared the material on the situation in the Karabakh conflict zone and genocide in the Azerbaijani city of Khojaly - Khojaly Massacre: Tension rising between Armenia and Azerbaijan. On the frontline, war can break out at any moment between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Tensions remain high on the 26th anniversary of the Khojaly massacre when Armenian soldiers killed hundreds of Azerbaijani civilians.
”They should withdraw their troops from the frontline and restore the independence and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. If it is not done, the Azerbaijani army, which is the strongest army in the Caucasus, is capable of liberating the occupied territories under the leadership of the president, the Supreme Commander, at any moment," Major -General Hikmat Hasanov says.
The standoff over the Karabakh region has lasted over the three decades. The conflict has claimed more than 30,000 lives and displaced over one million people, mainly Azerbaijani.
"We want to give a message to the world that we will never give up our lands, we will always fight for them as long as we live, young and old," Governor of Khojaly, Shahmar Usubov said.
While a ceasefire was signed in 1994, it was only two years ago the two countries’ last fight over the occupied Karabakh. During four days of heavy fighting in April 2016, Azerbaijan managed to get some of its territories back and capture several strategic positions from the Armenian military. Hundreds of people were killed before both sides agreed to silence their guns.
”In Talysh, about two years ago, a fierce fighting with Armenians took place. The line of contact between Azerbaijan and Armenia in no-man’s land remains quiet today. But two years ago heavy fighting took place and Azerbaijan successfully captured strategic areas overlooking the Armenian military, " analyst Oubai Shahbandar said.
Despite the four UN Security Council resolutions demanding that Armenia withdraw, the occupation continues. ”We have seen no positive steps from the opposite side, we still continue our work because we do not want to have another war," MP Rovshan Rzayev said.
As diplomatic efforts falter, Azerbaijan has been rapidly modernizing its armed forces. The recent recovery of oil prices has allowed Baku to start spending more on its military, allocating near $ 1.6 billion on its military budget this year. The guns on both sides of the divided line in occupied Karabakh are silent for now. But that can all change, as officials in Yerevan and Baku remain deadlocked.