Azeri, Armenian Security Chiefs Discuss Karabakh As Rumors Rife About Another Meeting In Baku

Farid Hajili Feature 7 January 2021
Azeri, Armenian Security Chiefs Discuss Karabakh As Rumors Rife About Another Meeting In Baku

Contacts of the Armenian and Azerbaijani special services have recently intensified and a Moscow meeting discussed a series of important issues that Azerbaijan believes would be conducive to the establishment of peace in the war-torn region.

Reports are also around that the Armenian security chief is planning to visit Baku for further discussions.

After the November 10 trilateral statement of the Azerbaijani, Armenian and Russian leaders, units of the Armenian army, which almost lost most of its modern armament, obviously altered tactics and switched to the guerrilla warfare against Azerbaijan.

So far, the public was twice informed about guerrilla attacks against units of the Azerbaijani in Nagorno-Karabakh and no guarantees that such assaults would end soon. At present, instead of regular attacks, the enemy forces in groups of 5-10 attack Azerbaijani posts in an effort to trigger losses among the military.

The "hit-and-run" tactics, to put it in classical terms, is a method of guerrilla warfare and derives its strength from Azerbaijan’s goodwill.

Nevertheless, we must admit that the Azerbaijani Armed Forces are trying to prevent Armenian provocations as much as possible and frankly speaking, it is impossible not to approve of these activities of our army. The meeting Azerbaijani State Security Service chief Ali Nagiyev had with his Armenian and Russian counterparts in Moscow on December 30 is also an integral part of these efforts. As the Russian media claimed, the sides discussed the provocative activities of Armenian sabotage groups in Nagorno-Karabakh and their consequences.

The official information of the State Security Committee also confirms this claim. "According to official information, the meeting discussed a number of issues, including the fight against terrorism in the liberated territories."

Although Azerbaijani officials did not provide enough details about the Moscow meeting, citing Russian media at the meeting, the chiefs of both Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian intelligence agencies agreed on a number of issues.

Armenia pledged to fight Armenian terrorists more actively. Azerbaijan informed the parties that it would conduct anti-terrorist operations through the SSS’s anti-terror forces to prevent the fight against the "hit-and-run" tactics of Armenian terrorists from turning into a full-scale war. Russia has undertaken to coordinate the exchange of information between the Azerbaijani and Armenian special services.

Analyzing some of the events of the last month in the light of this information by the Russian media, it seems that in the first days of December, official Baku conveyed its remarks and anxieties to Rustam Muradov, commander of the Russian peacekeepers in Karabakh, through Ali Nagiyev, the SSS chief, who visited Lacin and Kalbacar. Claims are that Rustam Muradov's response was that "we cannot control the Armenian sabotage groups of 6-10 people".

Following the Russian peacekeepers' response, the country's leadership reminded the other side of its duties that if they failed to fulfil their duties, Azerbaijan would have the right to resume military operations.

It was alleged that later Rustam Muradov spoke with Armenian and NKR officials and the latter "admitted" that it could not control the Armenian terrorists. It said that some Armenian "volunteers" do not accept the statement signed on November 10 and attack the Azerbaijani side in small groups of 6-10 people. In short, the Armenian military did not want to share responsibility for the "hit-and-run" tactic. Thus, the activities of Russian "peacekeepers" have become a topic of discussion between Azerbaijan and Russia. "

The visit of Aleksandr Bortnikov, the director of the Russian Federal Security Service, to the region was not accidental, a week after the visit of the SSS chief Ali Nagiyev to Lacin and Kalbacar on December 9. The goal was to reduce tensions and prevent a resumption of a great war.

Alexander Bortnikov, who first visited Armenia, arrived in Azerbaijan on December 18. On the same day, Bortnikov met with President Ilham Aliyev and SSS chief Ali Nagiyev and accepted that Baku's remarks were justified. The FSS director's talks with Armenia, after returning to Moscow, did not seem to yield any results. Armenian saboteurs continued their attacks. The enemy's attacks on Agdam village of Xocavand, especially on December 27, triggered serious concern.

During that attack, a group of 6 Armenian terrorists fought with Azerbaijani servicemen. According to Russian media, the saboteurs, who allegedly secretly came to Hadrut District, attacked the observation post, killing one Azerbaijani serviceman and wounding another. The sabotage group was detected by Azerbaijani soldiers during the second attack in the afternoon and was destroyed.

After the incident, official Baku raised the issue with the leadership of Armenia and Russia and received an irresponsible response from Yerevan. "We do not know about this attack, Azerbaijan is again making up a legend."

It seems that after official Baku provided the parties with detailed information about the destroyed saboteur group, Yerevan was forced to admit that the provocation took place. Probably, after the warning that official Baku could resume hostilities, the director of the FSS, Alexander Bortnikov, invited his colleagues to a meeting in Moscow.

As Strati’s pundits believe, the visit of Chief of the General Staff of Armenia Onik Gasparyan to the Russian capital during the meeting of the special services of the three countries in Moscow and the discussion of this issue with him show that Azerbaijan has raised the issue very harshly. Armenia was informed that Azerbaijan could start a war again. Apparently, the prospect of the issue turning into another war beyond the framework of anti-terrorist operations conditioned the visit of the Chief of General Staff of Armenia to Moscow. Because the prospect of war is beyond the authority of the director of the National Security Service of Armenia Armen Abazyan. The Armenian Chief of General Staff could answer the questions on this issue.

Pundits are of opinion that Armenia did not fulfil its obligations even after the Moscow meeting of the chiefs of the special services as the Russian media reported about another attack after that meeting, another attack by an Armenian sabotage group was recorded on the Lacin-Susa road, and the terrorists were killed on the spot.

In the meantime, the visit of the Turkish military observation group to Azerbaijan is not accidental after this incident. The fact that Turkish generals, who visited Azerbaijan on December 31, spent such a significant day as the New Year not in their homes, but in the company of our servicemen, shows that their visit is also urgent.

Apparently, the Turkish General Staff is also concerned about the possibility of provocative attacks by Armenian saboteurs in Azerbaijan, triggering to rekindle the conflict. Reports said that 35 high-ranking Turkish officers, who arrived in Azerbaijan, are specialists in the fight against terrorism. It is not ruled out that they will take action based on the results of their observations in Nagorno-Karabakh.

In brief, the recent developments in Nagorno-Karabakh do not give grounds for optimism. The post of the secretary general of the Karabakh Security Council has been assigned to retired general Vitaly Balasanyan. This man is an Armenian officer, whose hand was drenched in the blood of the Azerbaijani people in the first Karabakh war. In his first statement to the media after his appointment, Balasanyan said he would try to regain control of Hadrut, Askaran and other districts. The Karabakh "president", Arayik Harutyunyan, also said that they were preparing for a war of revenge with Azerbaijan.

This rhetoric is not the behavior of the state that signed the act of capitulation, and the Azerbaijani army must launch military operations to take full control of Nagorno-Karabakh in order to eradicate Armenian terrorism.