Soldiers carry coffins during funerals at a military cemetery in Yerevan Photo:

As the war in Ukraine rages on, a new conflict has arisen. On Sept. 13, 2022, a shootout ensued along the Armenian and Azerbaijani border, resulting in 207 dead Armenians and 80 dead Azerbaijani. By the next morning, Azerbaijani forces had taken about 10 km of Armenian land. The two nations began a full- scale war centered around the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave which has been a center of dispute ever since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In the chaos of the conflict, four civilians were killed and many were wounded as a result of the intense artillery fire. Thousands of people were forced to evacuate their homes in search of safety on both sides. In the evening of Sept. 14, a ceasefire stopped the conflict. Both sides are still preparing for a war as this conflict is centuries old.

What caused the Azerbaijani to attack the Armenian seemingly out of nowhere? Well, initially, the Azerbaijani said that this skirmish was to prevent the Armenian military from mining supply roads near the border. The Armenians did not buy this justification and claimed that it is false. Azerbaijan gave another reason for their violence and said that the border was somewhat fluid and they wanted to recapture lost territory. This is not the first time these two nations have engaged in a major conflict like this. Back in 2020, a similar conflict occurred, killing an estimated 6,000 people. The European Union had to step in to mediate peace talks. The two sides never agreed to an official peace agreement. Numerous videos of the conflict highlight Azerbaijani brutality. Soldiers were mutilating dead soldiers, harassing civilians and were committing crimes. Azerbaijan will investigate these situations.

It is unclear whether the ceasefire will actually hold. Both sides keep provoking the other and eventually one will just snap, causing a larger chain reaction. Armenian rescue workers have begun checking to see if bomb shelters were up to standard. The next conflict is inevitable between these two hostile nations. It is also important to know that Azerbaijan is supported by Turkey and Armenia is backed by Russia, but Russia is not helping because Russia has their own conflict. Both of these nations are a part of CSTO, Collective Security Treaty Organization, which in essence is a Russian made NATO. Russia has not been helping these nations even though they are allies. Due to Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Azerbaijan believes it can attack and fly under the radar. Moscow, Paris and Washington are all focused on the Ukrainian conflict, so this conflict is not as dire. It is uncertain whether the conflict has concluded or has just hit a pause, but both nations are prepared for a bigger conflict. As of now the fighting has stopped, but it may rise again.

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