09/21/2023 Artsakh (International Christian Concern) – Azerbaijan announced a military operation into Nagorno-Karabakh (Armenian: Artsakh) on the night of Sept. 18, after nine months of a brutal blockade on the region. Terming it as a “anti-terrorism operation,” the Azerbaijani assault began with heavy artillery shelling of both military and civilian centers, drone strikes, and securing strategic mountain corridor points.
By the afternoon of Sept. 20, the lightning military operation ended with an agreed ceasefire. Azerbaijan’s government in Baku announced full control of the Artsakh enclave, and Artsakh representatives have seemingly ceded control of all military installations. Thousands have been protesting in Yerevan for the Armenian government to act and protect ethnic Armenians in the enclave, enraged at the apparent silence and betrayal from the entire world at not preventing such a rapid and brutal take-over by Azerbaijan of Artsakh. Tensions remain high between Azerbaijan and Armenia while the UN Security Council meets today to discuss the ongoing crisis.
In addition to its claims of neutralizing armed resistance in Artsakh and “regaining full control of the territory,” they have also stated that they will now begin “re-integrating its people” with Azerbaijan. These statements are sounding alarms about how Azerbaijan will treat the ethnic Armenians in Artsakh, including the approximately 120,000 Christian Armenians in Artsakh.
Currently, there are thousands of Armenians from Karabakh in the enclave’s only airport, controlled by Russian peacekeeping troops, hoping to leave to safety, though the airport remains closed. The Lachin corridor also remains closed, prohibiting Armenians from accessing the only remaining land connection with the nation of Armenia. With no route to refuge, Armenian Christians in Artsakh remain in grave danger of massacres and genocide by Azerbaijani forces, just as they have in the past.
The world must act now to prevent Azerbaijan from massacring Armenian Christians in Artsakh, and we must pray for peace in that region to bring an end to further displacement, violence, and targeted genocide of Armenian Christians. If you’d like to donate to our emergency relief fund to help Armenian refugees, click here.
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