Fighting Escalates as Nagorno-Karabakh Envoy Declares ‘Existential Fight’

Major cities in disputed enclave come under fire

Nagorno-Karabakh envoy Robert Avetisyan warned over the weekend that his self-declared country is facing “an existential fight” as a conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan picks up, with the goal of deciding the future of the region.

Fighting that began a little over a week ago is now a serious conflict, with multiple cities coming under rocket and artillery fire, and both sides accusing the other of targeting civilians, while predicting an ultimate victory for their side.

The Karabakh DM has also claimed success in fighting, saying they’d repelled an Azeri offensive. Between conflicting reports, over 240 fighters are believed to have been killed overall, and Azerbaijan claims to have seized a number of villages.

Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan called for all Armenians to unite for “the most decisive moment” in the region’s history, and saying everyone needs to focus on the singular goal of “victory.” Both sides are spurning reports of ceasefire efforts.

The real danger isn’t direct Azeri-Armenian fighting, however, but the risk of the war becoming fully regional, with Turkey having already talked of getting involved on Azerbaijan’s side, and risks that Russia might get drawn in if things get much worse.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.