Armenia President: Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Could Lead to All-Out War

Clashes Continue Into Monday In Disputed Region

by Jason Ditz, April 04, 2016

Heavy weekend fighting continued into Monday, with reports of at least three more Azeri soldiers killed and Nagorno-Karabakh reporting that they’ve had 20 fighters killed and 72 wounded in the past three days of fighting.

Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan warned a group of foreign ambassadors today that the war could have “unpredictable and irreversible consequences, right up to a full-scale war,” cautioning that both Russia and Turkey could quickly become involved.

The UN recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan, but the region has had an unrecognized, Armenia-backed government since 1994. The dispute over the territory’s ownership rages throughout the Soviet era as well, with no signs of resolution.

Turkey issued a statement about the weekend fighting expressing support for Azerbaijan, while Russia’s Foreign Ministry slammed Turkey for being “one-sided.” Russia has an existing defense treaty with Armenia, and has 5,000 troops stationed there to defend them from potential incursions.

The recent flare-up came in the wake of Azeri President Aliyev’s visit to the United States. Secretary of State John Kerry met with him, and called for an “ultimate resolution” of the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute. Though Kerry insisted he wanted a diplomatic solution, within 48 hours fighting was raging.

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