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World A new weapon complicates an old war in Nagorno-Karabakh

12:30  15 october  2020
12:30  15 october  2020 Source:   latimes.com

Armenia's Prime Minister Accuses Turkey of 'Reinstating the Ottoman Empire' in Sending Mercenaries to Nagorno Karabakh

  Armenia's Prime Minister Accuses Turkey of 'Reinstating the Ottoman Empire' in Sending Mercenaries to Nagorno Karabakh The revival of the 30-year conflict threatens to engulf Armenia and Azerbaijan in all-out warIn fact, the battle already threatens to bleed beyond the mountainous 1700-square mile enclave in the South Caucasus to engulf Azerbaijan and Armenia in all-out war, and risks provoking an even wider conflagration. In an interview with TIME, Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan doubled down on accusations that its bitter rival Turkey is already intervening militarily on behalf of Azerbaijan, claiming President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is vying to extend his influence in the region.

The new war over Nagorno - Karabakh is a conventional one, being fought by professional armed forces. But this time, hi-tech 21st-century weaponry has the capacity to make this decades- old conflict more destructive than ever before. If official battlefield statistics are to be believed, the death toll is

The 2020 Nagorno - Karabakh conflict is an ongoing armed conflict between Azerbaijan and the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh, supported by Armenia, in the disputed Nagorno - Karabakh region.

Huddled together in the basement of the town’s music school, the women broke into a chorus of bee-like buzzing sounds to describe what has become their greatest fear.

a man standing in front of a large rock: A man looks over the wreckage of a home destroyed by a military strike that killed a civilian, according to authorities in Martuni, Nagorno-Karabakh. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times) © Provided by The LA Times A man looks over the wreckage of a home destroyed by a military strike that killed a civilian, according to authorities in Martuni, Nagorno-Karabakh. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

“We don’t see them," said Katarina Abrahamyan, a 38-year-old supermarket cashier. "We hear them."

Azeris and ethnic Armenians fight before planned talks with Russia

  Azeris and ethnic Armenians fight before planned talks with Russia Azeris and ethnic Armenians fight before planned talks with RussiaBAKU/YEREVAN (Reuters) - Azeri and ethnic Armenian forces fought new clashes on Friday as Russia prepared to host talks with the warring sides' foreign ministers on ending the deadliest battles in the South Caucasus for more than 25 years.

Outbreaks of new fighting in Nagorno - Karabakh are typically the result of domestic politics in Armenia and Azerbaijan. This is more true in Baku, however, given that Yerevan has no strategic goals that would require the resumption of hostilities in the disputed territory. Armenia effectively won the war in

The 2020 Nagorno - Karabakh conflict is an ongoing armed conflict between the armed forces of Azerbaijan and Armenia in Nagorno - Karabakh , the latest escalation in the unresolved Nagorno - Karabakh conflict.

The “them” she was referring to were drones, a frightening new fixture in the military conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan that erupted in late September after several years of relative calm. Hundreds have now died in more than two weeks of ferocious clashes over Nagorno-Karabakh, the ethnic Armenian enclave internationally recognized as belonging to Azerbaijan but ruled by an Armenia-backed separatist government.

The drones have turned the hostilities from a bloody, bare-knuckled ground fight waged with infantry and Soviet-era ordnance into a deadly game of hide-and-seek against an all-too-patient — and often unseen — airborne enemy.

a man and a woman standing in a room: Ivazian Gayaneh, 52, right, and other residents seek shelter in basements as a Azerbaijan drone flies overhead in Karmir Shuka, Nagorno-Karabakh. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times) © (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times) Ivazian Gayaneh, 52, right, and other residents seek shelter in basements as a Azerbaijan drone flies overhead in Karmir Shuka, Nagorno-Karabakh. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

"If we can see it with the eye, we shoot at it. If not, we hide,” said Ashot Sarkissian, a 51-year-old artillery operator keeping vigil in the town of Askeran, just north of Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Azerbaijan, Armenia report shelling of cities despite truce

  Azerbaijan, Armenia report shelling of cities despite truce BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Azerbaijan has accused Armenia of attacking large cities overnight in violation of the cease-fire deal brokered by Russia that seeks to end the worst outbreak of hostilities in the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region. The Azerbaijani authorities said Sunday that nine civilians have been killed and over 30 wounded after Armenian forces fired missiles overnight on Ganja, Azerbaijan's second-largest city, and hit a residential building. According to Azerbaijan's Prosecutor General's office, the city of Mingachevir also came under missile attacks early Sunday.

Nagorno - Karabakh conflict in pictures. Fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed enclave has escalated in recent days. Video caption: Avoiding war in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflictAvoiding war in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. Ros Atkins explains why despite calls for a

Nagorno - Karabakh conflict. media captionTanks ablaze as fighting erupts over disputed region. One of the world's oldest conflicts, a territorial dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, has re-erupted Armenia's defence ministry said an attack on civilian settlements in Nagorno - Karabakh , including the

“We need new technology. We need new weapons to fight the drones.”

The onslaught from above, which since Sept. 27 has killed five civilians and injured 10 others here in Martuni, a town about 20 miles east of Stepanakert, marks a new and dangerous escalation in the conflict, said Edik Avanesyan, the mayor and a veteran of previous face-offs with Azerbaijani forces.

“The intensity is incomparably higher. Most of these drones are for reconnaissance, and then come the strikes," he said, adding that so far more than 120 residential and administrative buildings in the town have been damaged, along with 40 cars.

"There are days when they don't come, but when they do it's three or four times a day."

a man sitting in a forest: Ashot Sarkissian, a 51-year-old artillery operator, examines the remnants of an Azerbaijan drone that crashed into the hillside in Askeran, Nagorno-Karabakh. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times) © (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times) Ashot Sarkissian, a 51-year-old artillery operator, examines the remnants of an Azerbaijan drone that crashed into the hillside in Askeran, Nagorno-Karabakh. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

The drone strikes, along with artillery salvos, forced Avanesyan to order an evacuation of most of Martuni’s 6,200 residents, with most women and children seeking refuge outside the town while some of the men stay behind.

Armenia, Azerbaijan tensions rise amid claims of new attacks

  Armenia, Azerbaijan tensions rise amid claims of new attacks YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan escalated Wednesday, as both sides exchanged accusations and claims of new attacks over the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, where heavy fighting continues for a third week despite a cease-fire deal. In a statement compounding fears of a wider conflict, Armenian Defense Ministry claimed it reserves the right to target Azerbaijani military objects and troop movements. That followed an announcement by the Azerbaijani military that it destroyed an Armenian missile system “targeted ... to inflict casualties among the peaceful population and to destroy civilian infrastructure.

Nagorno - Karabakh is among those places in the world where there is no historically correct evidence on whose claim is stronger. It was always too distant and difficult to After this was rejected, tensions mounted, escalating into a full-fledged war in 1991. Fought between independent Azerbaijan and the

Armenia and the breakaway republic of Nagorno - Karabakh previously declared martial law and general mobilisation, while Azerbaijan declared partial martial law and partial mobilisation, closing its airports to all countries except Turkey.

The conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, which ethnic Armenians call Artsakh, dates to World War I, but escalated in the waning days of the Soviet Union. In 1988, ethnic Armenians who formed the majority of the territory's inhabitants sought to secede from Azerbaijan, a Soviet republic; skirmishes between Armenians and Azerbaijanis metastasized into all-out war as the U.S.S.R. collapsed in 1991.

Three years later, after an estimated 30,000 people were killed in fighting and in pogroms targeting Armenians and Azerbaijanis, a cease-fire was called, leaving Armenians in control of Nagorno-Karabakh, along with a number of other provinces amounting to almost 9% of Azerbaijan’s territory. More than 1 million people, mostly on the Azerbaijani side, remain displaced from their homes, while Nagorno-Karabakh has taken on a totemic significance for both sides.

a close up of a lush green field: A large Azerbaijan missile lands hits the ground outside Martuni, Nagorno-Karabakh. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times) © (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times) A large Azerbaijan missile lands hits the ground outside Martuni, Nagorno-Karabakh. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Drones have upended the calculus undergirding that status quo — especially for Azerbaijan, which has used its oil wealth to dramatically upgrade its arsenal, said Rob Lee, a defense expert in the war studies department at King’s College London.

Nagorno-Karabakh volunteers get weapons as clashes intensify

  Nagorno-Karabakh volunteers get weapons as clashes intensify MARTUNI, Nagorno-Karabakh (AP) — As the fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces rages on in the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, its residents are joining volunteer squads to defend their towns. The Ovanisyan family and their neighbors were called Wednesday to receive their Kalashnikov rifles to help protect Martuni, a town close to the front line in the eastern part of the region. “I was summoned to the recruitment office to give me a gun so I can defend my land. I am always ready to fight for the well-being of my children," said Valery Ovanisyan, a 64-year-old Martuni resident.

This time, however, Russia’s calls to stop the escalating violence in Nagorno - Karabakh that began on Sunday have so far fallen on deaf ears, thanks in part to the rise of Turkey as a regional power that has altered the delicate balance Get alerts on Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict when a new story is published.

(Redirected from Nagorno - Karabakh war). The Nagorno - Karabakh War was an ethnic and territorial conflict that took place in the late 1980s to May 1994, in the enclave of Nagorno - Karabakh in southwestern Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan has vowed to reclaim the mountainous, Delaware-sized territory and launched several offensives over the years. Russia, France and the U.S. — which co-chair the Minsk Group, an 11-country coalition tasked with resolving the so-called frozen conflict — have failed to push the parties toward a final settlement.

"At the beginning of the 2000s, Azerbaijan wasn't militarily strong enough to retake Nagorno-Karabakh," Lee said. “But after a sharp rise in global oil prices and a decade of increased defense spending, including tens of billions of dollars spent on Russian, Israeli and other foreign high-tech arms, the military balance of power shifted by 2016."

a group of colorful flowers in a field: Flowers adorn the grave of a fallen service member at a military cemetery in Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh.New graves have been dug next to it in preparation for more burials. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times) © (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times) Flowers adorn the grave of a fallen service member at a military cemetery in Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh.New graves have been dug next to it in preparation for more burials. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Between 2011 and 2019, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which maintains a database on global arms expenditure, Azerbaijan spent more than $19 billion on weapons. That included a $5-billion order with Israel in 2016 for 100 Orbiter 1K and 50 Harop "loitering munitions," or so-called kamikaze drones that can target antiaircraft defense and radar systems. (The Harop appears to have first been deployed by Azerbaijan’s military in 2016 in a strike against a bus full of Armenian soldiers.)

Warring sides fight new clashes in 'powder keg' Nagorno-Karabakh

  Warring sides fight new clashes in 'powder keg' Nagorno-Karabakh Warring sides fight new clashes in 'powder keg' Nagorno-KarabakhYEREVAN/BAKU (Reuters) - Armenian and Azeri forces fought new clashes on Friday, defying hopes of ending nearly three weeks of fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh which U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said was "a powder keg of a situation".

Armenia has spent about $4.8 billion on its arsenal over the same period, and its reliance on Russia as its main weapons supplier means that its unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV, capabilities are relatively lacking, because Moscow has not focused its defense development on drones, Lee said. Instead, Armenia has only a small number of domestic UAVs it has employed on the battlefield.

In a nationwide address Friday from the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, President Ilham Aliyev celebrated the shift in his country's war-making abilities.

“Mediators and leaders of some international organizations have stated that there is no military solution to the conflict,” Aliyev said. “I have disagreed with the thesis, and I have been right. The conflict is now being settled by military means, and political means will come next.”

a messy bed in a room: Guests at Hotel Europe sleep in a hallway to avoid shrapnel and debris from military strikes in Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times) © (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times) Guests at Hotel Europe sleep in a hallway to avoid shrapnel and debris from military strikes in Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

A new addition to Baku’s arsenal is the Bayraktar TB2, a drone purchased from longtime ally and North Atlantic Treaty Organization member Turkey sometime after June, according to statements given by Azerbaijan’s defense minister to local media. The TB2 has become the favored weapon in the skies for Azerbaijan's military, overshadowing even the Turkish F-16 warplanes stationed in the Azerbaijani city of Ganja during joint military exercises between Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Aliyev denied that the F-16s have been used in combat against Armenian forces. He instead credited Turkish drones with reducing Azerbaijan’s military casualties in the current flare-up. The TB2 has a flight time of 24 hours and a communication range of almost 100 miles, according to the Turkish government, and comes armed with smart munitions.

Nagorno-Karabakh fighting raises threat of escalation

  Nagorno-Karabakh fighting raises threat of escalation YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Heavy fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh continued Thursday with Armenia and Azerbaijan trading blame for new attacks, hostilities that raised the threat of Turkey and Russia being drawn into the conflict. Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry accused Armenia of firing several ballistic missiles from its territory at the Azerbaijani cities of Gabala, Siyazan and Kurdamir, which are located far from the area of fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh. It said there were no casuaLties.The Armenian military rejected the claim as a “cynical lie.

“These drones show Turkey’s strength,” Aliyev said. “It also empowers us.”

In recent weeks, the TB2 has made a regular appearance in videos released by Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry, with feeds from the drone's high-definition camera (often set to strains of dramatic classical music) demonstrating the drone’s destructive power against older Armenian materiel.

a man and a woman sitting on a bench: Bella Sarkissian, 74, weeps as she takes shelter with other residents in an underground basement as Azerbaijan continues to rain artillery fire on the town of Martuni in disputed Nagorno-Karabakh. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times) © (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times) Bella Sarkissian, 74, weeps as she takes shelter with other residents in an underground basement as Azerbaijan continues to rain artillery fire on the town of Martuni in disputed Nagorno-Karabakh. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Open-source analysis of such videos indicates that the drones have exacted a devastating toll, disabling some 87 tanks and more than a dozen surface-to-air missile systems. The same analysis shows that Azerbaijan has lost at least 15 UAVs in the fighting.

With the threat of drones omnipresent, officials, army personnel and even civilians have had to alter habits.

In Martuni (which Azerbaijanis call Khojavend), Avanesyan, the mayor, eschews what he considers a less secure but more modern smartphone in favor of a primitive Nokia, which would reveal less information to an adversary. Similarly, soldiers near the front line are proscribed from using GPS or taking any photos with their phones. Drivers tape up headlights or smear mud on their cars to obscure any markings that could make them a target. Gatherings are discouraged, with people urged not to spend too much time in one place and to designate an emergency shelter.

a man sitting in front of a building: Leonard Hovanissian, 61, stands in the theater in Martuni, Nagorno-Karabakh, after a military strike blew out its windows. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times) © (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times) Leonard Hovanissian, 61, stands in the theater in Martuni, Nagorno-Karabakh, after a military strike blew out its windows. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

“We can’t stay for long,” said Seyran Danielyan, 63, Martuni’s urban planner, urging a visiting journalist to hurry during a tour of the town. “We don’t know when they’re going to hit.”

Inside the music school, Leonard Hovanissian, a 61-year-old accordion player, sat in the basement near a dusty stack of qanuns, traditional stringed instruments, waiting for the bombing that usually followed the sound of drones overhead.

“We hear the buzzing and we quickly go inside,” he said.

“We’re afraid, and then the sirens begin. It’s as if we’re in the Second World War.”

Times staff photographer Marcus Yam in Askeran contributed to this report.

a person standing in front of a building: Venera Gevorgian, 42, far right, looks out from her basement shelter with other residents after they scurried inside to hide from an Azerbaijan drone flying overhead in Karmir Shuka, Nagorno-Karabakh. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times) © (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times) Venera Gevorgian, 42, far right, looks out from her basement shelter with other residents after they scurried inside to hide from an Azerbaijan drone flying overhead in Karmir Shuka, Nagorno-Karabakh. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

AP Week in Pictures, Europe and Africa .
OCT. 16 - 22, 2020 This photo gallery highlights some of the most compelling images made or published by Associated Press photographers in the Europe and Africa regions within the past week. The gallery was curated by AP photo editor Anne-Marie Belgrave in London. Follow AP visual journalism: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/apnews AP Images on Twitter: http://twitter.com/AP_Images AP Images blog: http://apimagesblog.com © Provided by Associated Press A man wearing a face mask to try to curb the spread of coronavirus walks over Westminster Bridge backdropped by the London Eye ferris wheel, on a rainy day in central London, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.

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