2020 November 1
- 1 Daily news and anti-corruption report
- 2 about the drugs that Azeri soldiers take
- 3 Azeri army instructed jihadists to kill civilian POWs / captured jihadist reveals details / recruitment / drugs
- 4 another Syrian militant is captured alive / was paid extra to behead
- 5 Armenian soldier's message to Syrian mercenaries, in Arabic:
- 6 what does "localized battles against infiltrators in the forests" mean exactly?
- 7 Patrick Lancaster: Artsakh Hospitals Under Attack
- 8 Azerbaijani soccer club official's comments raise the ire in Russia
- 9 ... it also raised the ire in Armenia
- 10 Artsakh Parliament MPs defend their constituency in the front lines // Russian reporters draw parallels with Ukraine & Syria conflicts
- 11 November 1 // battlefield & analysis // international response & diplomacy
- 12 COVID stats
- 13 Humanitarian aid & demonstrations
- 14 regional news
- 15 How to donate to Artsakh
- 16 Support David's Daily Armenia News Summaries!
Daily news and anti-corruption report
Nov/1/2020 wrap-up: \\ War in Artsakh (Karabakh) \\ captured Syrian jihadist gives damning details; POW murders; Turkish involvement; drugs \\ Azerbaijan bombs Iranian Mosque \\ battlefield & analysis \\ "surprise" incoming? \\ international response & diplomacy \\ humanitarian aid & demonstrations
Your Sunday report contains 4200 words. 17-minute read.
about the drugs that Azeri soldiers take
It's been documented several times that the Syrian jihadists and Azeri infiltrators shoot up numbing/performance drugs before they attack. On the 0:25-0:35 second mark in the video below, the Armenian soldiers, who had just finished fending off an attack, show what they claim to be drugs under the possession of one of the infiltrators:
Azeri army instructed jihadists to kill civilian POWs / captured jihadist reveals details / recruitment / drugs
One of the jihadists recruited by Azerbaijan was captured a few days ago. His name is Muhhrab Muhammad Al Shkheri [transliteration], a Syrian national born in May/3/1975 in Tottah, Hama, Syria. He has three children (12, 11, 9) and a wife. He worked as a laborer in Syria. In 1988 he was jailed for a month for accidentally killing his little brother (Mazen) by discharging a handgun.
After the 2016 ISIS attack, he took his family on a motorcycle to the Sinjar area where his uncle lives. After a month, ISIS reached this area too, so they had to flee to a refugee camp in Atmi village (Sarmati area).
Muhrab is given a lawyer and a translator during the interrogation by Armenian prosecutors. He was informed that he's charged with terrorism and other crimes per Armenian law. (he isn't a regular POW because international law doesn't protect the hired mercenaries)
"Around September 18th, a month before I went to Azerbaijan, another refugee camp resident told me about the Karabakh war. Suleiman Shah group leader Abu Hamsha sent a recruiter Abu Hussein 23 (a digit in the name?) who offered my uncle Muhammad Al Khaled to gather young fighters. My neighbor Hussein told me he had accepted the recruitment offer, and encouraged me to join. The next day I decided to join him.
Neighbor and I were registered by Abu Hussein 23. We spent two days in a special apartment with six other recruits. Abu 23 told me we'll to go Killis city, where various groups (Sultan Murad, Hamza, etc.) have command centers. 17 of us were taken to Al Ghus entry point in a Kia truck. There were other trucks with around 250 recruits.
We went to the outskirts of Kilis where Suleiman Shah group commander Abu Hamsha was also managing other smaller groups. Colonel Mahmoud was tasked with choosing suitable soldiers. 250 were chosen and 10 sent back. The 250 split into groups of 50.
We were in Kilis on October 17th. At 23:00, all 250 of us were told to cross the Turkish border on foot. Turkish border guards knew and let us freely enter without questions. Abu Hamsha organized the crossing.
There we met Turkish police cars who asked no questions. Five buses took us to a civilian airport in Turkey. At the airport, they didn't ask for our passport. They told us to quickly run and get in a jet. There I saw a Turkish soldier, wearing military insignia, who quickly shut down the jet door behind us.
After an hour of flight, we landed at another Turkish airport. 50 Turkish soldiers met us there. They stood between two jets. We walked through them and boarded the other jet that had an Azerbaijani flag. On October 18 we landed in Azerbaijan, where 30 soldiers wearing Azeri uniforms met us. They knew who we were. No questions asked. We got in vehicles and went to a military base, where they gave us uniforms and weapons.
The uniform was an Azeri army one. Abu Hamsha (commander) was also there. They gave him a white Toyota pickup truck. Azeris told us we're supposed to fight against Armenians. There were also Turkish soldiers wearing Turkish army uniforms.
On the 3rd day, 250 of us went to an area managed by commander Abu Hamsha, where we met another group of 250, again under the control of Abu Hamsha. Some of them were killed or wounded in battles. We spoke with them, they were from Idlib and other cities. There were about 430 of us, with another 70 dead or wounded.
After two days in Abu Hamsha's place, we were told to prepare to fight. In the morning 200 of us got in white Toyota pickup trucks and traveled 100km through hills and mountains. In the route, we saw villages with Azeri and Turkish soldiers present.
Two Azeri soldiers accompanied us. The direct supervisor of our 200-man group was Sheikh Ibrahim who wore civilian clothing but had a weapon. Artillery was sticking us from two directions. The leader divided us into groups of 25. My new immediate supervisor became Rauadd [transliteration].
We were told to cross a gorge on foot and reach an abandoned Armenian village 1km away. They told us to capture it. They didn't come with us. They told us to leave no survivors, even if civilians. When we approached the village, Armenians opened fire from both sides of the gorge. I was wounded in leg and arm. I asked my fellow soldiers for help but they just left.
Q: did you and others use drugs?
A: commander Abu Hamsha said anyone who is scared or has a weak heart can take pills. After taking them the person would become fearless. Other members of our group were using it.
Q: did they offer you money to fight against Armenians?
A: Abu Hamsha said my monthly salary was $2,000. I didn't get paid; it was supposed to be done at the end of the month.
Q: where did the money come from?
A: Turkey was paying us through Abu Hamsha.
The militant has a message: I urge my fellow Syrians to stay in Syria and not to travel to Karabakh regardless of conditions, even if you're in poverty and forced to eat soil. I regret my actions. I fell into a trap. If you can see or hear me, return to Syria, and find honest work. I left my wife and children alone and now no one takes care of them.
Video of the jihadist: https://youtu.be/CLoMAExp80s?t=25
Same video: https://t.me/infocomm/25081
another Syrian militant is captured alive / was paid extra to behead
13:37 Pashinyan: There is now complete and comprehensive evidence that thousands of mercenaries were recruited from Syria, transferred by Turkey to Azerbaijan, and involved in military aggression against Artsakh. This is an international criminal network and its discovery cannot be without consequences. There will be new evidence in the near future.
13:47 MoD: we have captured another Syrian militant alive.
15:50: Syrian militant Youssif Alaabet al Hajii was captured by Artsakh Hero Vladimir Balayan's son Alexei and his unit.
The militant is from village Ziradiya, Jisr Shuur, Idlib. Born in 1988. Married. Five children. Says he went to Karabakh to fight against qafirs (non-believers) in exchange for $2,000, plus $100 for beheading each qafir (Armenian).
Video of militant: https://youtu.be/n3Z_JFpqYBg?t=24
Armenian soldier's message to Syrian mercenaries, in Arabic:
what does "localized battles against infiltrators in the forests" mean exactly?
Patrick Lancaster: Artsakh Hospitals Under Attack
20-minute documentary: https://youtu.be/PqTb6wknVI4
Azerbaijani soccer club official's comments raise the ire in Russia
Yesterday we learned that Azerbaijan's Garabag FC club's PR manager Ibrahimov called for a genocide against Armenians, and the murder of Armenian women and children.
Russian govt-run [likely the most famous] TV show anchor Vladimir Solovyov lost his cool over the comments:
"Does the leader of Azerbaijan want to comment on Ibrahimov's message? Maybe Ibrahimov himself will go and murder Armenian children in the clinic that they recently bombed? [referring to Azerbaijan's bombing of a Stepanakert maternity center a few days ago] Will he personally burn down the newborns? Adolf Hitler also wanted to kill [long list].
And this is coming from a citizen of a country that is brotherly with us. Now they have a new generation that calls for the murder of anyone who is Armenian.
Did I get that right that he will go and kill Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov because someone wrote Lavrov is part Armenian? How about PM Mishustin? Did I get that right?
How about the 30,000 ethnic Armenians that Aliyev claims to live in Baku "and feel very good"? How about all the Armenians of Karabakh that Aliyev promised a bright future?
Are there felony cases against the genocide inciters, yet? Ah… no, of course not. It's more comfortable for them to launch a felony case against me," said Solovyov. [in the last part he might be referring to Azeri govt filing a felony against a fellow media personality from WarGonzo outlet]
... it also raised the ire in Armenia
Education Ministry: Azerbaijan's education system has long taught hatred towards ethnic Armenians, so the Garabag soccer club official's statement wasn't a surprise. It once again proves that Artsakh people's safety is impossible under Azeri rule. "Succession for salvation principle" is the only solution.
Artsakh Parliament MPs defend their constituency in the front lines // Russian reporters draw parallels with Ukraine & Syria conflicts
The aforementioned Russian TV host Vladimir Solovyov (Moscow) interviews Russian WarGonzo reporter Semyon Pegov (Stepanakert).
Solovyov: how bad is it?
Pegov:: it's not "bad" bad. The heaviest battles were in the first days. The blitzkrieg failed. Now it's different warfare. In some locations Azeris advance, while in others Armenians do.
Solovyov: so who is fighting against whom? My viewers don't understand the army composition.
Pegov: Republic of Armenia's army doesn't take part. Artsakh has an army called "Artsakh Defense Army". Those who mobilized from Armenia go there as a separate force and aren't part of the Armenian Army. There are also those who are complete volunteers who aren't part of Armenian mobilization forces.
I just spoke with Artsakh Parliament Speaker. They are all up in arms and in uniforms, all 23 men. Four of them are already fighting in the most immediate front lines. They are fighting in the districts that they represent in Parliament. It's the first time I meet politicians like these, with exception of Zakharchenko in Donbas.
Solovyov: Azerbaijan used white phosphorus bombs. We know that Ukraine used them in Donbas. We also know about Ukrainian cargo jets very recently made trips to Baku. Is this Ukrainian phosphorus? Someone said Turkey also used phosphorus in Syria.
Pegov: It's a similar story as in Donbas. Azeris want to burn down the forests to pave way for their infantry because Armenians know the forests better. It's absurd that Azeris accused Artsakh of burning down their own forests. This was also done in north-western Syria.
Solovyov: some anti-Russian figures say Turkish weapons are better than Russian ones. Are there Russian weapons that can help Artsakh? If not, why?
Pegov: there is a severe shortage of modern weapons here, especially for air defense. I have no idea why we [Russia] can't help Artsakh with this. If the air was "closed", this war would have a completely different turn of events. Most Armenian air defense units are older OSA.
An attack on Artsakh is an attack on Russia from a different front. Turkey installed similar Bayraktar drones in Ukraine.
Solovyov: I think this is all Turkey's revenge for Russia's actions in Syria. What we see in Artsakh is what we will see in Donbas soon.
Pegov: Yes. And it's also revenge for Crimea, too. When some of our Russian politicians say "Artsakh is a foreign war, let's just give those 7 regions to Azerbaijan, etc." It's the same as to say let's give away Crimea and it won't affect Russia. These officials are detached from reality… Do we want terrorists a few kilometers from us?
Solovyov: well they already are. [referring to Azerbaijan recruiting Syrian jihadists]
Pegov: we can still hit the terrorists in the teeth. Sure, we can't directly get involved, but we can aid Artsakh indirectly. We need to help. In the northern front, Armenians have serious successes. Some Armenian soldiers are already sitting in Azeri trenches. I can't reveal all details. As for the southern front, they were pushed back due to numerical and technological differences. What Armenians do right now deserves respect.
Solovyov: Pegov… which one of your family members is Armenian?
Pegov: Me? No one. Why?
Solovyov: Well, the Azeri trolls keep trying to find Armenian blood in me. One day it's my mother (who is Jewish), the next day someone else. They need to find an ethnic excuse to justify my political stance.
Someone wrote Emmanuel Macron's mother's grandfather was an Armenian named Frederick Massonyan, "an enemy by ethnicity". This was written by Hamid Hamidov, an author at Russian "Echo Moskvi". They still use him as a commentator to cover the Karabakh conflict. I could feel the "Reich" when I read his comments.
Pegov: how is that different from the actions of some of the groups that Russia has declared as terrorist organizations? I would have recognized the Azerbaijani army as a terrorist organization, too, since they brought the Syrian terrorists.
Solovyov: Pashinyan keeps requesting aid from Russia but Armenia itself hasn't clarified what Artsakh is. Is it part of Armenia? Is it an independent state? Why and whom should we help?
Pegov: 99.9% of Artsakh residents support Russia. The only other place with that level of support was Crimea. Even in Donbas, fewer people supported Russia. We need to support the people of Artsakh.
November 1 // battlefield & analysis // international response & diplomacy
8:16: video showing Armenian air defense shooting down a drone near a town.
11:00 Artsakh govt: Azeris used military aviation against Martuni city at night and in the morning. There are heavy damages. They used GRAD and Smerch missiles against Avetaranots and Szneq villages. No civilian casualties.
Martuni water network works at 30% capacity. No electricity.
11:31 army: at night the battles continued in the north, southeast, and southwest. We suppressed the artillery that they used against Shushi. The enemy tried to use 10 light (non-armored) cars to advance towards Avetaranots village (6km from Shushi) but was found and destroyed. They retreated after sustaining heavy losses.
The attack resumed in the morning. The army maintains full control of the situation across the borders, locates enemy movements, and takes appropriate steps.
11:43: actress Yelena Borisenko has thanked everyone who provides media coverage from Artsakh, including WarGonzo's Semyon Pegov. "Today we paid farewell to our Adam. He left with a smile. Life will never be the same again. We will all turn into warriors. We will live in great Armenia."
11:56: soldiers reading poems and performing songs in the front lines:
chad alert: https://youtu.be/ONqsKClmxPE
13:02: MFA Mnatsakanyan gave an interview to Russian Sputnik news, and accused Azerbaijan of unwillingness to achieve a ceasefire.
13:11 army: Azerbaijan has so far lost 6997 soldiers, 6 TOS, 669 tanks and armored vehicles, 25 aircrafts, 16 helicopters, 241 drones.
13:24: Turkish MFA visited Azerbaijan.
13:34 The National Interest: U.S. sanctions could ease the tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
13:46: 61 schools and 10 kindergartens have been damaged by Azerbaijani bombing since September 27.
13:52: WarGonzo reporter filmed the damage done to the "Gohar Agha" Iranian Mosque in Shushi. Azeris dropped a shrapnel bomb which heavily damaged the nearby parked car, too.
Mosque video: https://youtu.be/JiUIMCLefEw
13:56 Foreign Minister of Iran: we're almost certain that terrorists took part in the clashes. We've said that it won't benefit anyone. Iran will not tolerate their presence. They may not be immediately at our border right now but they're nearby.
Turkish govt-controlled media: Iranian president says terrorists are being deployed near the border with Iran. What should we call Iranian groups stationed in Syria/Iraq/Yemen?
14:18 Artsakh MoD: last evening [already reported by Artsrun] Azeris tried to attack in Martuni and Shushi directions. Near Martuni we made a strategic retreat for better positions. It's part of a strategy.
Near Shushi, we were able to predict the Azeri actions and destroyed the vehicles and personnel after they gathered in the same location. From now on, Azeris can call this location the "Hell Gorge". They sustained heavy casualties and failed their plan here.
At the moment, our soldiers confidently control their positions and are ready to respond.
14:26: army published photos of soldiers from the front lines:
15:33: the army shot an Azeri drone near Stepanakert.
16:19: famous rapper Narek from Mets Hayq group is also in the front lines. He published a photo:
16:29: Spanish Congressman Jon Inarritu and his team visited Armenia "to learn about the Turkish-Azeri aggression".
Video from Congressman: https://twitter.com/JonInarritu/status/1322826334352121856
18:12 Artsakh govt: the rumors about an airstrike against president Arayik Harutyunyan's car fleet are false.
18:29 Artsakh govt: Azeri drone bombed an emergency firefighter vehicle in the north-east. It was delivering drinking water to civilians. The crew wasn't injured. Not the first time the Azeri army target civilians.
18:30 Pashinyan to Al Jazeera: Azerbaijan responded to the peaceful 1988 movement by using force against civilians, just as they bomb them today...
Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan means Karabakh without the Armenian population...
Karabakh takes special care of Mosques. The one in Shushi was very recently renovated. If you visit the town you'll see how beautiful it is unless Azeris have already bombed it [spoiler: they did, but luckily it hit the outer wall].
[Al Jazeera reporter noted that earlier they visited Sushi and filmed that Mosque.]
18:39: the army shot two more Azeri drones near Stepanakert. Four more explosions were heard later.
18:46: video showing the forest fires along the Stepanakert-Martuni road, caused by Azerbaijan's intentional bombardments, including with phosphorus bombs. The forests are often used as shelter by civilians.
18:48: Russia denied rumors that two of its soldiers were killed while patrolling the Armenian borders.
19:01: Armenian civilians running to take cover in Stepanakert during a bombing:
19:37: WarGonzo showing the civilian infrastructure damage in Shushi:
20:05: Armenian troops neutralized an Azeri group and captured their commander's (Toyota?) pickup truck. The video is likely from yesterday.
20:45: the army has awarded several soldiers.
Major Babayan Ando received the Medal of Courage for selfless bravery during a defense.
Eight female and male doctors and Majors received Medal of Courage for evacuating and saving the wounded. Several others received similar medals.
22:00 army spokesman Artsrun's briefing: in the morning, Azeris and terrorists continued to attack in various directions, mainly with small groups, mainly localized, sometimes with artillery and air attack and military aviation. No significant positional changes happened today. The battles continue.
Today we showed you the second hired terrorist who explained how they were recruited and paid, and how Azeris used them against us. There will be many more surprises, regardless of how many times Turkey and Azerbaijan try to refute their utilization of hired terrorists.
We possess details on where they are deployed, what their mission is. I must say that the decision to use these mercenaries in the front lines tells us that Azerbaijan's land army is seriously damaged, and their main hope is these mercenaries.
We're very well aware of Turkish involvement in the Azeri army. The control is, essentially, in the hands of Turkey. It's somewhat fair to say that there is no such thing as Azeri Armed Forces anymore.
When the Azeri army catastrophically failed during July battles [Armenia took a position within its territory, Azeris attacked but failed], Turkey decided to take control of the Azeri army. All the "great Azeri high-tech and weapon" that some international experts talk about has nothing to do with Azerbaijan. It's all Turkish-Israeli and is mostly controlled by Turkey.
Their technological superiority, however, won't last long. We have a surprise
for the non-existent government of Azerbaijan. We know that they'll try other measures, but we're prepared.
Q: are the foreign maps, circulated on social media by some blogs, accurate?
A: most of them can have inaccuracies in multiple directions. I don't recommend using them. Follow us, we are transparent and we give you reliable information. Artsakh is small. Everyone can see what's happening and where.
I'll say this again. When you hear good news, it shouldn't cause excessive euphoria. The war is still heavy and hard. Similarly, when you hear bad news, that doesn't mean things are falling apart.
Our soldiers are in full control of the situation and they get stronger every day. Our people and diaspora stand with them. We will win.
23:02: an Ohio House Representative plans to introduce a resolution to officially recognize Artsakh and to condemn the Turkish-Azeri aggression.
23:29: Azerbaijan bombed the civilian infrastructure of Martuni.
+5,392 tested. +2,441 infected. +510 healed. +28 deaths. 34,691 active.
Humanitarian aid & demonstrations
11:25: Johnson & Johnson held fundraising to help civilians who suffered during the war.
13:04: Armenian demonstrators gathered in front of Capitol Hill to raise awareness of the war crimes against Artsakh civilians.
13:15 Education Ministry: on November 3rd there will be a book and souvenir sale in Northern Avenue. The funds will be donated to 1000plus.am and Himnadram.org
13:20: 103-year-old Lebanese-Armenian grandma Qnarik Markosyan donated $1 million to www.HimnaDram.org to help Artsakh.
13:38: Avraam Russo, a famous Russian-Armenian-Lebanese singer/showman, will organize online charity concerts on November 1-2 and donate the revenues to Artsakh's Armenian population.
15:25: Diasporan Armenians are looking for various ways to fundraise for Artsakh. These ladies are preparing handmade bracelets and providing piano lessons to donate the income to www.HimnaDram.org:
16:08: Olympics and world champion wrestler Arthur Alexanyan has joined the "Recognize me? Recognize Artsakh" campaign on social media.
16:26: Armenians demonstrated in Canada:
17:57: a mother baked a bread and went barefoot to the recently bombed Shushi church to have it blessed before sending it to his son in front lines.
20:06: world-famed Japanese pianist Takahiro Akiba performed Arno Babajanyan music in Nagano, Japan. He dedicated it to Armenian soldiers who died fighting.
22:04 BREAKING NEWS: legendary 6-time Super Bowl champion coach Bill Belichick (New England Patriots) has expressed solidarity with Armenians.
“I stand with you during these difficult times. I have learned that throughout Armenian history, regardless of any adversity or tragedy, the Armenian people have continued to thrive. I hope and pray for peace, justice, and the safety of the brave soldiers that are fighting for their nation’s recognition and freedom,” Bill Belichick said.
22:09: Armenians are currently holding a demonstration in front of the New York Times newspaper office in New York. They protest the extremely biased coverage featured by NYT's Turkey-based reporter Carlotta Gall which is often published in Google News and other places.
Georgian elections. Ethnic Armenian MP Samvel Manukyan from the Javakh region is reelected with 63% of votes. He represents the ruling Georgian Dream party, which has won the elections with 48% votes.
The opposition organized protests; they want new elections. Georgian President welcomed the fact that the elections were peaceful in predominantly Armenian and Azeri regions of Georgia.
The death toll from the earthquake in Izmir has reached 62, with 940 injured.
Kurdish PKK group blew up a Turkish pipeline in Mardin (Turkey) that was transporting oil from Syria to Turkey. 3 died, 25 injured.
Someone vandalized the Armenian genocide memorial in Lyon, Frace with graffiti.
Emmanuel Macron criticized Recep Erdogan for being aggressive towards NATO allies.
article by Spectator: it's time to expel Turkey from NATO. "After 20 years in power, Erdogan isn't hiding his ever-increasing Islamist trends, and works against Western interests."
Russian INTER RAO energy giant, run by Putin's ally Igor Sechin, had recently canceled the plans to build a nuclear power plant in Turkey. Turkish media outlet Dünya believes it's related to conflicts in Karabakh, Libya, and Syria (Russia and Turkey support opposing sides).
Boston Celtics' Turkish basketballer Enes Kanter: Terrorism has a new face. 10 years and 31 conflicts against 10 countries (Greece, Russia, Cyprus, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Armenia, France, Saudi Arabia, Kurds). The world must realize that the Erdogan regime is the author, and not Turkey. Let's stop this dictatorship and build a peaceful world.
[Kanter's father was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2018 for being critical to the Erdogan regime. Kanter will soon receive a U.S. citizenship.]
Roma's midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan passes the ball that ends with a goal. Video:
How to donate to Artsakh
www.1000plus.am (international, medical help for former soldiers)
www.HimnaDram.org (international, for Artsakh)
www.ArmeniaFund.org (U.S. tax-deductible, for Artsakh)
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/jm9nk2/nov12020_wrapup_war_in_artsakh_karabakh_captured/
Disclaimer: All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law, even if they may sound as being guilty. Currency in Armenian Drams ֏ unless specified otherwise. Helpful overview of Armenia's media ownership and leanings.
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