Azerbaijan Recaptures Strategic City Of Susa After 28-Year Occupation

Farid Hajili Analysis 9 November 2020
Azerbaijan Recaptures Strategic City Of Susa After 28-Year Occupation

The Azerbaijani army has recaptured the strategic city of Susa in Nagorno-Karabakh on the 43rd day of the military campaign.

In a pre-recorded televised address to the nation from the Alley of Martyrs, President Ilham Aliyev said: “Susa is ours - Karabakh is ours!”

The city that sits on solid rocks is of significant military value as it also serves a gateway to another important city of Xankandi - the regional capital, connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with surrounding areas as well as Armenia.

The liberation of Susa after 28 years is of great importance, the control over it means strengthening the Azerbaijani positions over the whole area, both on the ground and at the negotiations table when Armenia is compelled to an act of capitulation if Yerevan’s patrons do not prevent it from happening.

What Azerbaijani president told the nation

Addressing the nation on November 8, the Azerbaijani president said:
“It is with great pride that I declare that the city of Susa has been liberated from occupation! Susa is ours! Karabakh is ours! I heartily congratulate all the people of Azerbaijan on this occasion. I heartily congratulate all the people of Susa.

Underscoring the prowess of the Azerbaijani army in retaking the city by force, the president reiterated that the 30-year talks under the aegis of the OSCE Minsk Group was senseless.

“Susa, which was under occupation for 28 and a half years, has been liberated! Susa is free now! We have returned to Susa! We have won this historic victory on the battlefield. 8 November 2020 will forever remain in the history of Azerbaijan. This history will live forever. This is the day of our glorious victory! We have won this victory on the battlefield, not at the negotiating table. I have said many times that, despite all the statements, there are military solutions to this conflict, the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and we are proving it on the battlefield today. Nearly 30 years of meaningless negotiations did not bring us any closer to the result.

The Azerbaijani president blamed Armenia for all-out efforts to drag the futile talks to earn time.

“Our ancient historical lands had been under occupation for almost 30 years. In the process of negotiations, Armenia simply wanted to gain time, strengthen the status quo and perpetuate it. Over the years, signals sent to Azerbaijan from various power centers were repeatedly urging us to put up with the situation. However, showing determination, courage and political will, we did not go for any agreement that did not meet the interests of the Azerbaijani people.

"I have repeatedly stated from all international forums that the restoration of our lands and territorial integrity is our main task, and we are fulfilling this task. Negotiations did not yield any results. They were just trying to fool us, they were just trying to freeze the issue. We have won this victory on the battlefield, we have won this victory by giving martyrs. May God have mercy on all our martyrs! I ask God's mercy for all our martyrs who died in the first Karabakh war and the second Karabakh war- the Patriotic war as we call it. I wish God's healing to our wounded compatriots. We are liberating our lands from occupiers at the cost of the lives and blood of our people, soldiers and officers. We are expelling the occupiers from our lands and we will expel them!” the president said.

Russian diplomat on Susa's liberation

Azerbaijan’s victory and the decisive role of this triumph was also acknowledged by the former Russian co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, Vladimir Kazimirov, notorious for his pro-Armenian stance.

“Of course, Susa is of great importance. The fact is that it is located above Xankandi. Of course, Azerbaijan has achieved certain military successes, it is difficult to deny,” Kazimirov was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti. He recalled that historically Azerbaijanis predominated Susa.

Who congratulated Azerbaijan

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan congratulated Baku on the capture of the "strategically important" city of Susa and the "liberation of seven districts" in Karabakh.

"The Minsk Group for 30 years could not solve this problem, it could no longer be tolerated, and finally Azerbaijan has achieved victory. This is a sign that a common victory is close. The joy of Azerbaijan is also our joy," Erdogan said. 

“We are back, dear Susa! We will revive you, dear Susa! Karabakh is ours! Karabakh is Azerbaijan!" We have been waiting for these words, this news for 28 and a half years - since May 8, 1992. And then we will remember for a long time how we listened to the address of Supreme Commander-in-Chief, President Ilham Aliyev, dedicated to the liberation of the pearl of Karabakh - the city of Susa. Moreover, as the president emphasized, Azerbaijan liberated Susa by military means - not at the negotiating table. This address came from the Martyrs' Alley, and the Supreme Commander-in-Chief was in camouflage military uniform.

Commenting on the liberation of Susa, pundit Nurani of the Minval news and analysis website believes this became possible precisely thanks to the “well-thought-out policy of our President and the Supreme Commander-in-Chief”. It was his reform program and well-tuned "oil and gas" strategy that laid the foundation for Azerbaijan's current economic stability. His offensive and, at the same time, diplomacy verified with pinpoint accuracy and created the main thing - an impeccable legal basis for the liberation operation that our army is conducting in Karabakh.

The program of the military construction was also being implemented. It included purchases of modern weapons, military and military-technical cooperation programs.

Quoting the president, the pundit said that we did not reconcile ourselves, as many outsiders advised us, with the outcome of hostilities. We did not yield to persuasion. We did not take on humiliating obligations and did not swear to everyone and everything that we would resolve the conflict exclusively by peace, that is, with good wishes and persuasions. We will restore our territorial integrity and regain Susa - the capital of Karabakh, the "conservatory of the east", we will return to Cidir Duzu and Xan Bulagi. No, we didn’t just store the dried “Xari bulbul” in a volume of poems by Molla Panah Vaqif. Every day, every minute we brought this day closer.

It was this policy that was behind the famous phrase of President Ilham Aliyev: “Karabakh is Azerbaijan! And an exclamation mark." The same "exclamation mark", which today turns into the flag of Azerbaijan, raised over Susa.