Military

As Azerbaijani Army Encircling Major Karabakh Towns, Armenia Heading for Defeat

Fuad Muxtarlı Analysis 7 November 2020
As Azerbaijani Army Encircling Major Karabakh Towns, Armenia Heading for Defeat

Pundits around are confident that the current deadly phase of the Karabakh war was instigated by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. From the onset, Nikol Pashinyan has acted irrationally and unreasonably for the sake of glory. Now this is manifested in colossal losses of service members and volunteers, equipment and failure on the entire front, including in intelligence.

In addition, it is clearly seen that the current government of Armenia did not have a strategy on the battlefield. There were only parting words, greed and the opportunity to get rich at the expense of western partners, who have a Caucasus country, placing biological laboratories there, sponsoring NGOs, promoting LGBT and other extraordinary phenomena.

Actually, many experts believe that Pashinyan is an American agent and this is outright to Russian political elite and politicians at all levels. The sitting Armenian prime minister is ill-disposed malevolent to Russia and was driven to get rid of his country from the Kremlin ubiquitous influence, to put it mildly, complete control.

Many experts and military journalists note that since 1991 it was Armenia that held back the escalation of the conflict, but under Pashinyan, who loves democracy and American curators so much, there was an explosion.

“The sooner the war ends, the better it will be. I have said many times and I can repeat once again that if the Armenian prime minister takes a commitment to liberate the rest of the territories, then we are ready to stop the war today. So far, he has not undertaken such obligations,” Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev often repeats in his almost daily interviews with foreign media outlets.

The Azerbaijan president speaks about the basic principles of the UN Security Council Resolutions, according to which, first five districts must be liberated, then two more. Now Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev is ready to stop military actions in the name of peace.

“We have already unilaterally liberated four districts. Therefore, Pashinyan must say that the troops must be withdrawn from the territories of the Agdam, Kalbacar and Lacin districts that remained under occupation. But he does not make such a statement. This shows that he does not want to end the war,” Ilham Aliyev reiterated.

However, after these statements of the Azerbaijani leader, Nikol Pashinyan does not agree to a truce. He is looking for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and asks for help, referring to some allied commitments within the CSTO.

But the prime minister forgets that Russia can help, but only to Armenia if its territory is attacked, and not to a third party. Experts note that Nikol Pashinyan, at the direction of his overseas masters, is trying to drag Moscow into a military conflict with Ankara, which openly supports Baku. Nikol Pashinyan does not notice the internal problems that contribute to defeats at the front.

A catastrophic situation is developing due to the rampant coronavirus pandemic. Thus, in Armenia, there are more than 100,000 cases of infection per 3m population. Only over 60,000 recovered. Experts also recognize the prime minister as a rather weak manager who clearly lacks political will, confidence and competencies.

Historian-orientalist, pundit and former military commander Igor Dimitriev described the Armenian prime minister in his Telegram channel:

“Fighter against dictatorship and corruption, dissident and European integrator. Soared to the top amid a wave of hatred towards President Serzh Sargsyan. But, as in other similar cases, after the victory, he was unable to implement the promised breakthrough reforms, and he decided to make up for the absence of managers in the team by calling on the Soros grant-eaters,” he wrote.

The difference between Armenia and other post-Soviet countries in an aggressive environment, and the decline in the role of Russia, which supported Sargsyan, turned out to be fraught with war. Pashinyan's Western patrons cannot solve this problem, and for Russia’s Vladimir Putin, he is no match. Although it turned out that the street activist is no match for Azerbaijan’s Aliyev. That is why his popularity is collapsing now.

Also, the Armenian prime minister is criticized by representatives of the elite and businessmen, who note that with the coming to power of a pro-Western politician, their ties with Russia and the CIS countries have become not so strong and the previously reached agreements are lost.

This, according to experts, also affects the internal situation in the unwillingness to support Nikol Pashinyan's policy by many respected people. Expert on international conflicts Yevgeny Mikhailov notes that if a coup is brewing in Armenia, then Prime Minister Pashinyan has nowhere to run, the Armenian people will get him everywhere.

“It is quite obvious that Armenia has reached its peak, first of all, in the complete decomposition of state power. The politics of the Soros regime of Nikol Pashinyan brought grief to his people, which were closely oriented towards Russia. However, Pashinyan turned Moscow away from the country with his Russophobia and now Yerevan is reaping the fruits of its chauvinism," Mikhailov said.

The expert notes that Yerevan today is suffering a complete fiasco on all fronts and it will only get worse in the future. “It's a pity that the common people of Armenia are again suffering from their mediocre politicians, leading the country to degradation and a possible loss of state sovereignty,” the expert added.

Mikhailov also claims that after Pashinyan's possible departure, Armenia will try to re-establish relations with Russia, which will look closely at the new leader.

“The history of our relations will be built anew without regard to historical ties. If you want help, pay either with full loyalty or at market prices, but for now, Pashinyan has taken a step and checkmate with his own actions," Mikhailov said.

Armenia threatens critics

Any threats and harassment against those who openly and truthfully speak out about what is happening in Nagorno-Karabakh are unacceptable and are criminalized, Day.Az reports that Israeli expert, lawyer, mediator, diplomat, public figure Natavan Rashidova-Katsman said.

As the expert noted, she herself is also threatened by Armenians. According to her, at the end of October, after the publication of new articles in news agencies, she received calls with threats to her life.

"The stranger spoke in Russian, in a very categorical and unpleasant manner, tried to discuss with me what awaits me in the future," she claimed.

It is obvious that these actions by the Armenian forces are aimed at intimidating people who openly and truthfully speak out about the war crimes of the Armenian regime taking place in Karabakh, or express their opinions as experts on international norms that Armenians grossly violate.

"With such threats, Armenian forces are once again proving their bestial terrorist essence. Threatening human life, trampling on the fundamental rights to life, freedom of speech and thought, is simply unacceptable and criminal," Rashidova-Katsman said. 

Decisive battle for Susa in pivotal stage

The war in Nagorno-Karabakh, which was kicked off at the end of September, has entered a decisive phase. On November 6, units of the Azerbaijani army were on the outskirts of Susa, the cornerstone of the entire Armenian defense. With Susa soon to come under Azerbaijan’s control, the war will surely turn into a strategic turning point in favor of Azerbaijan. In this case, Azerbaijan will take full control of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Heavy clashes are continuing though the forces are obviously not equal: for a month, Armenia suffered too heavy losses in manpower and equipment; they are clearly not able to defend the entire length of about 40 km of the road that connects Susa and Xankandi with Armenia.

A series of defeats of the Armenian army began in early October, when the Azerbaijani army broke through on the plain along the border of Karabakh with Iran. The terrain there favored the Azerbaijani mechanized units, which had a clear advantage over the Armenians.

Azerbaijan repulsed the Armenian counterattacks and quickly cleared the entire border of occupied Karabakh with Iran, approaching directly to Armenia. After that, the spearhead of their offensive turned to the north - to the mountainous regions. First, the Azerbaijani army tried to break through the gorges in the west, targeting Lacin, a city on the road linking Armenia with Susa and Xankandi.

Azerbaijan launched an offensive in no less inaccessible terrain - in the gorges and surrounding wooded mountains, which could lead them from the Iranian border straight to Susa and Xankandi. At first, Armenian military spokesmen said that small reconnaissance groups of Azerbaijanis were operating in the mountains. But on October 29, Xankandi and Yerevan realized the full danger of the situation and the so-called president of the separatists, Arayik Harutyunyan released a video in which he admitted that the Azerbaijani army was 5km off Susa, recalled a saying - who controls Susa, controls Karabakh and called on all Armenians to stand up for the "holy city".

Yet, by November 4, Azerbaijan managed to take firm control over the mountains south of Susa and the road from Susa towards Lacin. On the night of November 5, Azerbaijan’s special forces reached the road and went directly to the rocky area on which Susa stands.

From that moment on, the arriving Armenian reinforcements tried to knock out the special forces and the Azerbaijani reinforcements that had approached, but did not seem to succeed. Close combat on November 5 on the road was captured by journalists working from the Armenian side; judging by the geo-location of the video, Azerbaijan has extended control over the road to the outskirts of Susa.

Since then, the Armenians are trying to knock out Azerbaijan’s special forces from the Susa-Lacin road and from the surrounding forests. The Armenian army’s abortive counteroffensives have already failed several times, they keep try as with the lost of the most important supply line, the war will be lost, and Xankandi and Susa, located a dozen kilometers away, will come under Azerbaijan’s control. It will be impossible to keep the remaining territory, and the hope for a compromise political solution to the conflict will be completely lost.

Moreover, Armenia does not have any trump card left to reach a compromise. A possible "plan that will suit all parties" was presented on October 29 by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Under the initial plan, Armenia was to hand over to Azerbaijan districts it had occupied under the pretext of ensuring the security of Karabakh. The actual status of Karabakh was to be determined later. The sides were to declare an armistice, and peacekeepers should be brought into the contact line, as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

In the same context of "reaching a compromise that will suit all parties," the Iranian plan was also mentioned, which the country presented to Moscow, Yerevan and Baku a week ago though the details were not disclosed.
However, Azerbaijan has already de-occupied almost all the districts that Putin planned to persuade Armenia to hand five districts over to Azerbaijan in exchange for a postponed decision on the status of Karabakh and a ceasefire.

Only Lacin and Kalbacar districts in the north remain, along which the only road that has not been cut by the Azerbaijanis passes, connecting Xankandi with Armenia. This road is of little use for supplying troops as the journey takes many hours. But, probably, in the event of a military disaster, the separatists will be able to use it for evacuation though the latest status of the road remains unclear.

Little hopes for Armenia to avoid the devastating defeat. Almost all reserves of Armenia have been exploited. So far, no major counter-offensive by Armenian forces has been successful, and all of them have resulted in heavy losses. This is partly due to the rapid advance of Azerbaijan towards Susa.
Despite the fact that Azerbaijan, apparently, was not able to carry the equipment through the gorges south of Susa until November 5, its special forces still entered the Susa-Lacin road.

Over recent days, Azerbaijan has not used its main trump card - Turkish and Israeli-made shock drones, from which the Armenian army previously suffered huge losses, especially in tanks, artillery and other heavy equipment - this is now not enough for the defense of the city of Susa and Lacin. The reason for the lack of drones over the battlefield is not entirely clear. It is likely that it is bad weather - low clouds and fog. The weather is predicted to improve for several days by November 8.

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