Turkey Vows to Back Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh

Armenia PM warns Turkey not to get involved

Heavy fighting Sunday in Nagorno-Karabakh is raising concern of a war which could quickly go regional. Turkey has vowed complete support for Azerbaijan in the conflict against Armenia over the long-disputed region.

Centuries of dispute have left Nagorno-Karabakha a modern faultline between regional Christians and Muslims. Turkey is backing the Muslim Azeris, while Russia is trying to calm the situation before the fighting gets too out of control for Armenia.

Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan criticized Turkey for its “aggressive behavior” and demanded that they stay out of the matter. Turkey and Armenia remain in a somewhat strained relationship from the Armenian genocide, which often leads to diplomatic disputes.

Turkey is a much larger military force than either Armenia or Azerbaijan, and would be a game-changer if they got directly involved. The danger is that any such involvement would be a dramatic escalation, with the conflict potentially crossing multiple borders.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.