US, France, and Russia to Hold Talks on Nagorno-Karabakh

Over 350 reported killed as fighting in the disputed region continues

The US, France, and Russia will hold talks in Geneva on Thursday over the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh. The three countries co-chair the Minsk Group, which was set up in 1992 by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to promote negotiations and peace talks over Nagorno-Karabakh.

The fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenian forces in the disputed enclave started on September 27th and show no sign of slowing down. As of Wednesday, around 360 people have been reported killed, including civilians on both sides. The real total is expected to be much higher since Azerbaijan has yet to report military casualties.

Turkey has accused the members of the Minsk Group of neglecting the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and rejected earlier calls for a ceasefire by the three countries. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threw his support behind Azerbaijan as soon as the battle began.

Ankara has been accused of sending fighters from northern Syria to Nagorno-Karabakh to support the Azeris. Azerbaijan recently confirmed it is using Turkish-supplied drones in the fighting, as well as Israeli-made attack drones. Armenia, France, and Syria have all accused Ankara of driving the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh by supporting Azerbaijan.

Nagorno-Karabakh is an ethnic Armenian enclave within the internationally recognized borders of Azerbaijan. The border dispute turned deadly during the collapse of the Soviet Union, which led to fighting that killed tens of thousands until a ceasefire was reached in 1994. While flare-ups have occurred, the current clashes are the fiercest the enclave has seen since the ceasefire.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the assistant news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.