2020 October 14
Daily news and anti-corruption report
Oct/14/2020 wrap-up: \\ War in Artsakh (Karabakh) \\ Azerbaijan bombs civilian hospital & kindergarten \\ battlefield & analysis \\ what has been on negotiating table so far? \\ videos \\ international response \\ donations continue \\ more Azeri-Syrian jihadist details revealed \\ Ramil Safarov
October 13, October 12, October 11 , October 10, October 9 , October 8 , October 7, October 6, October 5, October 4, October 3, October 2, October 1, September 30, September 29, September 28, September 27
Wall Street Journal about the Syrian militants
WSJ has two sources in Syria, who are involved with the recruitment of militants, who confirmed that Turkey had earlier recruited hundreds of jihadists to fight for Azerbaijan. "A few more hundred will be sent soon." Their transfer began in mid-September.
A few dozen have already returned, citing harsh conditions on the battlefield. The source says 200 militants have already asked to be returned to Syria. Their salaries are up to $2,000.
Washington Post: Cousin of a militant killed by an Armenian sniper
Families gathered around a refrigerated truck at a Syrian-Turkish border to accept the bodies of 52 mercenaries killed in Karabakh, while fighting on behalf of Azerbaijan.
They went to break the borders,” said the cousin of mercenary Mahmoud Najjar whose body was marked as #12 in the fridge truck. The relatives confirmed that Turkey promised salaries in exchange to fight.
Najjar’s cousin said he received updates on the fighting from Syrians traveling with Najjar’s company who had international phone lines.
When Najjar’s 18-year-old nephew offered him the opportunity to fight in Azerbaijan for $2,000 a month, he jumped at the chance, his cousin said. Najjar, his nephew and dozens of their comrades seemed unprepared for what was to come.
On their first day in Azerbaijan, they were given uniforms with light green shades of camouflage, and later sent to the front.
The area was heavily fortified by Armenians. The Syrian mercenaries were largely on their own in an unfamiliar place, surrounded by languages, history and grievances they did not understand. They were accompanied by three Azerbaijani guides.
They spent nine hours walking up a mountain, the cousin said. Najjar was sent to clear a building but was killed by a sniper’s bullet that tore off the top of his head, according to the cousin, who provided a picture of Najjar’s body to The Washington Post on the condition that it not be published. Najjar’s nephew was killed the same day.
not surprising at all
New York Times: Turkish Defector Says He Was Ordered to Kill Politician in Austria. The testimony by the man, who claimed to be an intelligence agent, offers insight into President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s pursuit of foes and undermines the conviction of a U.S. Consulate employee in Istanbul.
October 14th arrives / The battlefield / International response / Humanitarian aid
1:03 army spokesman: the artillery shootout continues with various intensity.
8:06: Joe Biden has accused Donald Trump and Secretary Pompeo of inaction. He believes the U.S. should tell Azerbaijan that the attempts to resolve the conflict through the use of force will not be tolerated by the U.S.
Biden also believes "the U.S. should stop appeasing Turkey" and to tell Turkey and Iran to stay out of the conflict.
9:38 Artsakh MoD: Azeris launched an artillery attack in 3 directions in the morning. Our troops repelled their attacks.
10:35 Armenia MoD: Azerbaijan targeted equipment in the Vardenis area within the Republic of Armenia, under the pretense that it was going to attack them, even though the reports of us firing at them were false. From now on, we reserve the right to strike any equipment or military movement within Azerbaijan.
10:48 army: we shot another Azeri Su-25 jet just now. 3 drones and 20 armored vehicles recently.
So far Azerbaijan has lost 5489 soldiers, 4 TOS, 541 tanks and armored vehicles, 19 aircrafts, 16 helicopters, 176 drones.
(Non-official sources have counted $1.44b in Azeri equipment losses so far.)
11:09: Russian MoD Shoygu spoke with MoDs of AM and AZ about respecting the ceasefire.
11:34: video showing the training of soldiers before they're sent to the front. They're explained what to do in various situations.
12:03: various branches of the Armenian church will donate to Artsakh.
12:13: soldiers sent photos from the front lines.
12:49 Artsakh MoD: Azerbaijan bombed the city Martakert. Aviation was used in that direction.
13:02 Russian MFA Lavrov: there should be a humanitarian ceasefire which the Russian envoy could monitor on the ground.
We disagree with Turkish and Azeri statements that this conflict has a military solution. This conflict does have a diplomatic solution.
The most serious negotiating document on the table that has been discussed by both sides is as follows:
In the first phase, Armenia withdraws from 5 surrounding regions while security is provided for the rest of Karabakh. There is a secure land communication between Armenia and Karabakh. The economic-transport blockade of Armenia is lifted. Peacekeepers are introduced.
The second phase is about the fate of 2 more regions and the final status of the remaining Nagorno-Karabakh.
13:50: Artsakh president Arayik acknowledged Azerbaijan's gains in north and south, the large losses sustained by them, and called upon Armenians and Diasporan Armenians to participate physically and remotely in the fight to defend Artsakh. "We have to force Azerbaijan to a ceasefire."
13:34: more volunteers are signing up to join the army. "We rely on ourselves."
13:54 army spokesman: we saved 2 soldiers who were hiding in forests near northeastern Mataghis for 10 days. As for missing soldiers, we inform about it immediately. Those who are positively identified as dead are immediately reported, unlike Azerbaijan, where they keep their casualties secret.
Artsakh army has weapons similar to Iskander that are doing their job. Tochka-U has a similar warhead but Iskander flies longer and is harder to intercept.
We do get reports that the Syrian mercenaries were duped. Of course, they were duped. They have hundreds of deaths; several flights were made to transport their bodies back to Syria. The rest of their bodies are being eaten by boars in the southern Araks plains.
Azeris used most of their armory. They advanced in some areas, but from the military-science point of view, their gains are ridiculously small compared to what they've lost. Don't fixate on specific positional changes. Their plan was to invade Artsakh in 5 days.
13:57: a video from a hospital that treats the wounded soldiers, featuring a doctor.
13:59: Israeli violinist Sergey Ostrowski sent a note of support to Artsakh and Armenia, and expressed disappointment that his government arms Azerbaijan. "Business must at least have some moral values."
14:28: singer Iveta Mukuchyan organized a birthday fundraiser for Artsakh.
14:29 president Sarkissian to German Bild:Artsakh residents fight to protect their homes and heritage... Stepanakert resembles the German cities during WW2 after Azerbaijan's targeted fire at civilian infrastructure.
14:37 PM Pashinyan speech: the blitzkrieg to capture Artsakh and surrounding territories, launched by Azeri-Turkish-terrorist alliance, was a failure, thanks to the hard work of our army, volunteers, public servants.
Prior to the war, during the past negotiations, Azerbaijan had shifted its demands and wanted Artsakh residents to give up their rights.
They wanted 5 out of 7 surrounding territories immediately, and a clear time frame to give the other 2, all while the rest of Artsakh wouldn't be free but rather be de-jure part of Azerbaijan.
Moreover, they wanted the process of Artsakh's final status within Azerbaijan to be handled separately from the transfer of the surrounding lands. In other words, they wanted lands in exchange for not starting a war.
That is what we inherited on the negotiating table. We refused Azerbaijan's unacceptable demands for "land in exchange for peace".
We began negotiating over Artsakh's (minus surrounding areas) status, but Azerbaijan would always reject and demand it to be part of Azerbaijan, too. In other words, Azerbaijan wanted to remove all Armenians from Artsakh, while ramping up the militaristic and Armenophobic rhetoric.
We made reforms in our military since 2018 to reaffirm that Azerbaijan wouldn't have the ability to win the conflict through the use of force. Our victory in July proved that Azerbaijan didn't have the ability to do so.
This had shocked not only Azerbaijan but also Turkey. The two began training together, during which Turkey once again realized that Azerbaijan isn't ready, so they decided to handle the Karabakh conflict themselves.
Turkey began openly threatening Armenia and imported large quantities of terrorists after realizing the Azeri army couldn't handle the job.
We expected regional players to assess that this regional destabilization would also destabilize their countries, and we expected them to apply pressure. Strangely, some countries did not properly assess the danger to themselves, and continued to view this conflict as purely a local issue, thus supporting the "land in exchange for peace" idea.
This was of course unacceptable for us. It's similar to the 1938 Munich agreement in which the European states gave Chechoslovakia to Germany. You know what happened next. The question is, will the world allow the rise of a new Hitler in Asia Minor?
The September 27th attack wasn't unexpected. We were just waiting for a precise time and location. The army fought heroically from the first moments. All types of weapons and thousands of special forces units, including from third countries, were thrown at Artsakh.
The enemy did not have any strategic or territorial success during the first week, and this is while they had no supply and manpower restrictions, while Artsakh and Armenia were operating in the conditions of a blockade.
During this time, the enemy lost a huge amount of military equipment, sustained a large number of casualties. Some of those casualties were mercenary terrorists for whom they didn't care about, while we mourn every loss of ours.
The humanitarian ceasefire was never respected by Azerbaijan.
The situation is serious and we've sustained heavy human and equipment losses, but we must turn our mourning into a fury. You cannot break the Armenian people. We will fight until the end, and that end is a free and happy Artsakh. We must now work towards the international recognition of the Artsakh Republic.
14:39: Ilham Aliyev said he'll break diplomatic relations with countries that recognize the Artsakh Republic. He wants Turkey to be part of the negotiations.
15:07: Russian MFA Lavrov spoke with Azeri MFA about the temporary ceasefire.
15:11: two Armenian and one Azeri soldier are confirmed to have been captured by the opposite side. Legal documents are filed with the European court to protect their human rights.
15:11: first Karabakh War veteran General Manvel Grigoryan is also in Artsakh. He called for everyone to unite a defend the country.
16:06: a bill to recognize the Artsakh Republic is introduced in French Parliament after a meeting between the Armenian community and French officials including the French Prime Minister Dominique Villepin.
The Socialist Party of France supports it. The bill will be discussed within a few weeks.
16:07: Azeris are burning books written by Turkish writer Elif Shafak for tweeting a musical performance in the Shushi church that was recently bombed by Azeris. They want an apology from her.
16:11: Ramil Safarov
is the coward officer of the Azeri armed forces who, in 2004, during a peaceful NATO training in Hungary, sneaked into an Armenian officer's bedroom at night and killed him with an ax while the latter was asleep. Safarov was deported to Azerbaijan and subsequently given the title of National Hero after being pardoned by President Ilham Aliyev.
The European Court for Human Rights found that Azerbaijan violated the 2nd convention by pardoning him and found that it was done due to ethnic hatred towards Armenians.
Azerbaijan then filed an appeal with ECHR. Today the court rejected their appeal.
The Armenian envoy says that legally, this ruling requires Azerbaijan to punish Ramil Safarov.
16:11: more volunteers are drafting the join the front lines.
16:29: Azeri activists Narmin Shahmarzadeh and Giyas Ibrahimov are being persecuted after calling for peace.
Ibrahimov was shoved in a police vehicle before being told to appear in the prosecutor's office. "Arrest me. Do what you want," said Ibrahimov.
Another pro-peace activist Jale Bayramova told OC Media that she's been receiving threats and accusations that she's being paid from abroad.
Another activist was forced to remove the signature from the open letter that called for peace.
16:47 Artsakh MoD: in north-east, Azerbaijan targeted a civilian hospital where civilians are receiving care. This is against international law and is a war crime.
A kindergarten in Martuni was also bombed by Azeri artillery.
17:21: Greek AKKEL political party has asked Israel to stop the drone sales to Azerbaijan, condemned "Azeri dictator's war against Artsakh," and "Turkey's arms supplies to Azerbaijan."
17:21: Armenians from Georgian's Javakh region earlier held a fundraiser. Now they're gathering trucks of potatoes.
Samvel and Zakar Hayrepetyan from Los Angeles donated two ambulance vehicles and sleeping bags.
17:36: one of the Azeri drones that targeted the Republic of Armenia's Vardenis territory had struck a 14-year-old boy who was traveling to the nearby farm. His wounds are serious.
An energy company worker was killed in Martakert city.
17:38 army spokesman: the determination to win is especially important in difficult moments when you sustain losses and retreat.
17:58: Azeri media outlets spread fake news about the death of Ruben Sanamyan, the Armenian hero from the July battles. Sanamyan gave an interview.
18:00: prominent doctor Vahan Vardapetyan has donated to www.himnadram.org and called for those earning >$2,000 to dedicate 1-5% of their monthly salaries to Artsakh.
18:05: The orchestra of the Komitas State Conservatory gave an open-air performance dedicated to the army. "Sardarapati Qajer."
18:10 Artsakh president's spokesman: Artsakh is standing strong. At the moment, our army is doing a historic job of defending their homeland. The fierce battles continue. There is no panic. The Azeri attempts to break through were stropped. They sustained heavy losses.
Some of the Syrian jihadists imported by Turkey have infiltrated Russia's Dagestan region and reached Chechnia, which has no borders with Azerbaijan. (referring to Syrian militants that were killed yesterday in Chechnia)
We had earlier informed the international community that some of the terrorists were stationed near Dagestan. It's possible that some of them are currently hiding in southern Russia. Russia and Iran are the direct targets of pan-Turkism.
The Azeri-Turkish-terrorist army is attempting to capture the large water reservoir in the southern border. It's mainly being used by Iran and was built by Iranian resources. This reservoir greatly helps northern Iran which has water shortages. Our army is preventing the enemy's advancements in this area. However, it's possible that the enemy will try to damage the dam to cause ecological issues.
18:19 Russian pro-Kremlin TV host Vladimir Solovyov: Azerbaijan's targeting of the Armenian equipment within the Republic of Armenian territory (early in the morning) is a slap on Russia's face. If Russia takes no action, no country will ever seek Russia's protection.
What is CSTO military bloc anyway? Is our partner Armenia under our military protection, or what? Azerbaijan has directly admitted to targeting Armenia.
Azerbaijan recruited terrorists from groups that we're currently destroying in Syria. And now, the terrorists are 80km away from Russia's borders.
This is a direct challenge to Russia. Did Aliyev authorize this provocation? Does he plan to apologize? Did the MoD of Azerbaijan decide independently to target Armenia?
19:13: the Catholicos Garegin B gave a speech. "Կենաց ու մահու կռիվ ենք մղում հանուն Արցախի մեր ժողովրդի ազատ ու անկախ կյանքի իրավունքի:"
19:32 U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo: we're monitoring the situation, how Turkey arms Azerbaijan despite the international community's calls for peace, and we will put effort to achieve a ceasefire.
19:34: the govt plans to ratify the international convention aimed against the recruitment of hired mercenaries.
19:48: the Michigan House of Representatives has adopted a resolution condemning Azerbaijan and Turkey.
19:41: two videos from different angles showing the destruction of Azeri infiltrators in the south. The Azeri soldiers are seen leaving their trenches and running back after receiving artillery fire. Some of them find themselves trapped between the rocks while the bombs explode nearby.
20:09: some Azeri social media users are starting to complain about Aliyev's decision to hide their casualties. If Armenians identified names of 665 dead Azeri soldiers, that means the real number must be much higher, wrote the users.
20:31 Russian Kommersant newspaper: the return of Osmans in South Caucasus is a geopolitical disaster for Moscow.
20:41: the European Court for Human Rights has re-affirmed that Turkey must refrain from taking actions that could violate [Artsakh] people's human rights. The court rejected the Turkish appeal. (Turkey is helping Azerbaijan with hair strikes against civilians.)
20:50: Putin and Erdogan discussed the conflict and a need for a ceasefire.
21:00 army spokesman about yesterday's fierce battles in the north: we monitored their movement and predicted the attack. After a heavy artillery bombardment, they threw a very large number of soldiers forward. They didn't use many armored vehicles. They sustained very heavy losses. Some of them were found and destroyed today.
What's notable about that battle is that our constricts, reservists and volunteers cooperated very effectively for the first time. Normally, this synchronization between different types of forces is hard to achieve. We succeeded.
They attacked again in the south today and had to retreat after taking heavy losses.
The south is flat land, and plain, so it's easier to throw many vehicles and move kilometers forward. For 2 weeks, most of their efforts were in the south.
Azerbaijani government imposed an information blockade on their casualties to achieve short-term benefits but long-term it'll have the reverse effect.
21:02: video shows the aftermath of a 5-minute battle in the north-east. Armenian commander explains how they purposely retreated then ambushed the Azeris who left 62 dead on the battlefield, took several dead with them, left 2 POWs. The Armenian side lost one soldier.
The map of Azeri attack plans and soldiers' names/duties were recovered. The POWs admitted that they were being aided by Turkish and jihadist soldiers.
21:13: interview with Diaspora Committee chief Zareh Sinanyan. "The flow of diasporan volunteers is large. Physical arrival, donations, medical help, spreading information, etc."
21:45: the names of 23 more deceased Armenian soldiers are identified and published.
21:51: a video showing the aftermath of an earlier battle in the northeast. The commander shows the weapons captured from Azeris. The cameraman met the mayor of a village and its geography teacher. "In the first few days some were afraid, but they recovered and adapted quickly," said a tourism industry worker.
21:57 army spokesman: the government of Azerbaijan has never been this disrespectful towards their own soldiers and bodies. They are left in fields, gorges, and swamps.
22:00 army spokesman's briefing: early in the morning, the Azeris resumed the large-scale attack in north and south-east after a heavy artillery bombardment.
They didn't bring many armored vehicles this time but the groups of infantry were dense. They sustained heavy human losses and were thrown back. Their new strategy is a Hollywood-style attack on the hills with the use of large infantry.
Battles continue right now but not as tense.
Today Azeris attacked military equipment on the Republic of Armenia soil. This legitimizes our future similar actions within Azerbaijan.
Azeris targeted one of the civilian hospitals. It's not surprising to us but the international community must be made aware of this.
Azeris used airforce throughout the day, without much luck (one Su-25 was shot).
22:33: the mayor of Hadrut and an NSS agent have received a bravery medal for putting up armed resistance to the Azeri infiltrators.
22:50: Himnadram donations have reached $120m.
23:15: the Facebook page of the Armenian Embassy in Iraq was hacked. They're trying to recover it.
+2,877 tested. +1,048 infected (new record). +7 deaths. +395 healed. 10,561 active.
The school holidays will begin earlier this year.
You've read 3411 words.
Link to original report and comments: https://old.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/jb8xxj/oct142020_wrapup_war_in_artsakh_karabakh/
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.
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2020 Daily Armenia Reports|