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Azerbaijan Triumphs: Retaking Breakaway Armenian Enclave After Surrender

Azerbaijan has declared victory in its decades-long conflict with Armenia over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region. The announcement comes after Armenian forces in the self-proclaimed state of Artsakh voted to surrender to Azerbaijan in a November 10th cease-fire agreement. The conflict over the contested territory began in the early 1990s when Armenia supported a secessionist movement in the predominantly ethnic Armenian region. The two countries’ military forces fought several wars over the area, the last of which lasted six weeks and ended on November 10th. During this most recent fighting, Azerbaijan took control of several regions, notably establishing a full land corridor to the Caspian Sea, and also including the Lachin Corridor, an important mountain pass that was the last line of separation between the two countries’ forces. The Azerbaijani government declared a cease-fire agreement on Sunday with Armenia, which will see Artsakh, the self-proclaimed state within the region, become part of Azerbaijan, according to a statement from the country’s president, Ilham Aliyev. “Today the victory day, the day of our brilliant success,” President Aliyev said in a televised speech after the cease-fire was declared. The agreement has come at a great cost, with both sides suffering significant military and civilian casualties during the fighting. Both Azerbaijan and Armenia have also accused each other of violating international human rights law. Though a long-term peace agreement is yet to be finalized, Azerbaijan has already declared victory in the dispute, stating that its armed forces have “retaken all the territories that were under Armenian control.” The development is likely to have significant implications for the wider Caucasus region and beyond. It is a source of hope for those who believe a peaceful and more stable region is possible, but it may also lead to further instability and conflict in the future. Only time will tell.

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