After a short lull in overnight shelling of border towns by the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan, the government of Armenia has appealed to the United Nations and the Collective Security Treaty Organization which is led by the Russian Federation. Under membership of the CSTO, Armenia is afforded Article IV protections in which full members; Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan should come to the military defense of Armenia. Azerbaijan withdrew from membership in 1999.
The CSTO has convened an extraordinary meeting of the Standing Security Council which released this message after the government of Armenia requested military intervention from the Organization:
“On the night of September 13, 2022, clashes took place on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan with the use of heavy weapons and UAVs. As a result, there are dead and wounded. We consider the use of force unacceptable. To resolve the contradictions, exclusively political and diplomatic methods and agreements should be used, enshrined in the statements of the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia dated November 09, 2020, January 11 and November 26, 2021. We highly appreciate the mediation efforts of the Russian Federation in a ceasefire on the line of contact from 09:00 on September 13 of this year. In connection with the appeal of the Armenian side to the CSTO Collective Security Council for assistance to the Republic of Armenia, the Secretariat of the Organization, together with the CSTO Joint Headquarters, organized work to activate the CSTO mechanisms to resolve the situation. We express our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and wish you a speedy recovery.”
The Armenian Prime Minister also called U.S. Secretary of State Blinken, Iranian President Raisi, the U.S. Secretary for State for European and Eurasian Affairs Donfried, and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Borrell.
The Russian Foreign Ministry is struggling to keep the peace of their 2020 brokered peace deal, backed by the presence of about 2,000 peacekeepers from the 102nd Military Base in Gyumri, Armenia. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has already decried the Russian peacekeeping force as “worthless” after last nights events.
President Erdogan and Foreign minister Cavusoglu both came to the defense of Azerbaijan and warned Armenia not to escalate the conflict. They also stated that they will always stand behind the “rightful cause” of Azerbaijan, when Turkish Defense Minister Akar called Azerbaijan Defense minister Hasanov at 0530 EST today.
Azerbaijani State Owned Media published this graphic footage of dead Armenian troops, celebrating the military operation that reportedly neutralized several firing positions along the border. The Armenian Ministry of Defense reported that at least 49 soldiers had been killed. As of this morning renewed firing has been reported in Sotk, though the situation has been described as “tense. but stable”, by the Armenian Defense Ministry.
This renewed fighting is a significant flare-up in a war that has been ongoing since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the first Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994 in which the Armenians won huge swaths of Azerbaijani territory, and the 2020 war of the same name in which the Azerbaijanis reclaimed much of that lost land and then some through use of Turkish military equipment and intelligence.