Since fighting broke out between Armenian forces and Azerbaijan in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, other countries have been accused of fueling the conflict by supplying Baku with weapons. The leader of the enclave took things a bit further and accused Israel of supporting a “genocide” against his people.
In a speech last week, the ethnic Armenian leader of Nagorno-Karabakh, Arayik Harutyunyan, said Israel is “responsible for the genocide in Karabakh.” Israel and Azerbaijan are major trading partners, and it is estimated that Israel supplies Baku with 60 percent of its arms.
When the clashes first broke out, an assistant to the president of Azerbaijan said the Azeri military is using Israeli-made attack drones in Nagorno-Karabakh. Amnesty International identified Israeli-made cluster bombs in footage of Nagorno-Karabakh’s capital that appeared to be fired by Azerbaijan into residential areas.
Israeli officials have said they have no knowledge of or involvement in how Azerbaijan uses its weapons, but Harutyunyan dismissed those claims. “These statements are a mockery. Of course, they know and continue to supply weapons anyway. And the authorities of Israel, which itself survived the genocide, are also responsible for this genocide,” he said.
Since 1994, Nagorno-Karabakh has acted as a de facto independent state inside Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized borders, known as the Republic of Artsakh. Harutyunyan became the president of the Republic of Artsakh earlier this year.