Source: United States House of Representatives – Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02)
September 30, 2020
Washington, DC—Today, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) condemned the surprise military assault by the government of Azerbaijan, with the support of Turkey, against Nagorno Karabakh. There are already over 100 casualties reported, a majority of which are civilians.
“Azerbaijan’s violation of the 1994 Bishkek Protocols ceasefire by attacking Nagorno Karabakh is undermining hope for a diplomatic solution to this longstanding conflict. The United States must urge Azerbaijan to immediately end their attacks and Turkey to cease its involvement both directly through the use of its armed forces and indirectly by sending Al-Qaeda associated proxies to wipe out Nagorno Karabakh’s Armenian population — a tactic Turkey used against Syrian Kurds,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “I visited Nagorno Karabakh and heard firsthand of their commitment to upholding the ceasefire and working with international parties to achieve a lasting peace agreement. This attack by Azerbaijan and Turkey has cost the lives of civilians and threatens to bring NATO into direct conflict with Russia which has a defensive treaty with Armenia.”
Background: Early Sunday morning on September 27, local time, military forces of the government of Azerbaijan struck out at Nagorno Karabakh along its border, including the Nagorno Karabakh capital, Stepanakert. Since then, Azerbaijan has expanded its attack to include the Republic of Armenia hitting villages along its western border with Armenia, north of Nagorno Karabakh and along the border between Nakhchivan, a part of Azerbaijan separated by the southern part of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.
This reported action marks a military attack by a NATO country using NATO arms against Armenia, a country that has friendly relations with the United States, hosts one of the largest American embassies in the region, and is a participant in the NATO Partnership for Peace Program.
Azerbaijan has been supported in his fight by its regional ally, Turkey. Turkey’s president took to social media to declare solidarity with Azerbaijan and reports indicate that Turkey is transporting Islamic militant fighters from northern Syria — which it had used against Syrian Kurds — to support Azerbaijan’s forces.
During her visit she witnessed the lasting impact that the Armenian Genocide had on Armenians in the region as well as the diaspora — including in the United States — and observed their resilience in the face of genocide denial and the struggle to maintain independence in Nagorno Karabakh.
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