10/07/2021 United States (International Christian Concern) – Last week, the House Intelligence Committee passed through the Intelligence Authorization Act with language that mandated a report regarding future military activity in the Southern Caucasus region, between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The language was inserted by Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA), who serves as the vice chair for the Congressional Armenian Caucus.
The intelligence bill comes as part of a major effort by U.S. policymakers to curb the expansionism of Azerbaijan and Turkey after the invasion of Nagorno-Karabakh (Armenian: Artsakh) last year and the subsequent 44-day war. The new language in the intelligence bill requires the Director of National Intelligence to report on the “offensive military capabilities” and “strategic balance” of the South Caucasus countries, which hopefully will work to identify and mitigate the risk of future Azerbaijani aggression.
“Despite Azerbaijan and Armenia’s ceasefire agreement, unprovoked and ongoing Azerbaijani aggression against the people of Armenia and Artsakh means thousands of innocent civilians still live in danger, and the threat to our allies in the region remains high,” said Schiff. “We need a robust understanding of the present-day situation and all of the relevant military dynamics, capabilities, and potential threats, so that we are better prepared to use every diplomatic channel available to avert another deadly crisis.”
Following last years’ war, Artsakh, along with its rich Christian heritage that dates back to the centuries after Jesus’ time, was devastated. Azerbaijani soldiers, aided by Turkish-paid Syrian mercenaries, committed several war crimes against the people of Artsakh as well as the many Christian churches and monuments in the land. International Christian Concern (ICC) has documented these crimes and the humanitarian needs of the community that followed in two reports: The Anatomy of Genocide: Karabakh’s Forty-Four Day War and Nagorno-Karabakh: A Humanitarian Perspective.
As a result of the findings from these reports, ICC analysts have been continually engaging U.S. policymakers and Armenian Caucus leadership, urging them to take action against the aggressions of Azerbaijan and Turkey. ICC welcomes Congressman Schiff’s work in getting this language into the bill that will work to protect Armenian Christians for the future.
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