Op-ed from Armenia: why the Azerbaijani media publishes ‘sensational’ articles on Karabakh
One after another, ‘sensational’ materials have appeared in the Azerbaijani media that ‘thousands of Kurdish militants’ are being transferred from Iraqi Kurdistan through Iran to Armenia and Karabakh.
Earlier it was reported that after the explosion in Beirut, “thousands of Armenians were moving from Lebanon to Karabakh in order to change the demographic map of the region.”
There is no evidence to support this. There has been no reaction from international mediators and other countries in the region. And this suggests that Azerbaijan has undertaken this disinformation campaign on its own.
The question of the Lebanese Armenians, who have allegedly been resettled in the thousands to Karabakh, was recently posed to the press secretary of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova.
“We have heard about the intention of the de facto authorities of Nagorno-Karabakh to resettle Armenians who left Lebanon in the controlled territories. There are reports that two Lebanese families have expressed a desire to settle in Karabakh. We do not have verified data on the flow of Lebanese refugees to Nagorno-Karabakh and the territory around it,” Zakharova said during the briefing.
In general, throughout August 2020, 11 families of Lebanese Armenians moved to Karabakh, and the commotion in Azerbaijan is puzzling.
The residence of Armenians in Karabakh is not a secret to anyone, and the move of Lebanese Armenians there cannot change the demographic situation.
Why Baku is talking about Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan
In Baku, there is talk that militants are being transferred to Karabakh under the guise of resettlement. But the details of this alleged transfer can provide information about the true goals of Azerbaijan.
We are not talking about the militants in general, but specifically about the Kurds, of which Turkey is not a fan.
Recently, Turkish and Azerbaijani media held a forum in Ankara under the leadership of Hikmet Hajiyev, who is responsible for external relations in the Azerbaijani presidential administration. At this forum, an agreement was reached on joint information campaigns.
And so the first campaign, apparently, was undertaken against the Kurds.
Turkey is now facing Kurds not only in Syrian Idlib, but also in Iraq. And the Kurds ,already from the UN rostrum, are demanding Turkey stop its expansion into Iraq.
Ankara may be trying to use Azerbaijani information platforms, claiming that the Kurds are allegedly ready to fight on the side of the Armenians against the Azerbaijanis.
Information about the deployment of Kurdish militants in Artsakh (Karabakh’s name for itself) is “an absolute lie,” said Artsakh President’s press secretary Vahram Poghosyan.
“By disseminating such information, Azerbaijan is trying to counter this with confirmed information that their army is being replenished with radicals from Syria, which is also reported by foreign media,” Poghosyan said.
“Iraqi Kurdistan in the context of the processes around oil prices further increases its geopolitical weight. Turkey and Azerbaijan are concerned about the rapprochement between Armenia and Kurdistan in the economic plane, ”said adviser to the Karabakh President David Babayan.
The campaign in the Azerbaijani media is also directed against Iran, through which the “transfer route” allegedly passes. Official Tehran has not yet reacted to these allegations, but in fact, they were not announced at the official level.
As for Iraqi Kurdistan, these insinuations were hardly noticed at all.
Is Azerbaijan preparing for new provocations?
In early September 2020, Armenia announced the creation of a people’s militia – as it was stated, “to repel a potential enemy and preserve the inviolability of borders.” The head of the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry, Zakir Hasanov, said in response that Armenia is preparing for war.
Experts in Armenia and Karabakh do not exclude that with such statements Azerbaijan itself prepares the background for some provocative actions.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has repeatedly spoken about the practical termination of the negotiation process. Probably, these statements are connected with the fact that he needs to make excuses for the fact that the lands have not been liberated, and the negotiations have been disrupted.
Armenian experts do not exclude that Azerbaijan is preparing the ground for an invasion of Karabakh.
Former adviser to the President of Karabakh, military expert Tigran Abrahamyan recalls that Azerbaijani Minister Hasanov instructed to clarify combat calculations and announced fees for those liable for military service in the reserve.
“Information preparation is underway, and in which case the ‘culprits’ and ‘grounds’ for resuming the war ”have already been identified. The statements made by Azerbaijan indicate that in the near future there will be a great risk of provocations at the border,” Abrahamyan said.
Turkey creating military bases in Azerbaijan?
The Armenian portal “Lragir” does not exclude that the campaign in the Azerbaijani press is connected with reports that Turkey is creating military bases in Azerbaijan and is sending militants from Syria to Nakhjivan, in particular.
During his visit to Egypt, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan announced the verification of this information.
After the aggravation on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan on July 12-16, 2020, Turkey is trying to take a more active position not only in the Karabakh settlement, but also in the region as a whole.
Until now, the Kurds and other “third parties” have not “interfered” in the Karabakh conflict. But now Baku, with the participation of Turkey, is trying to give the conflict a broad regional context.
Yet the first attempts, judging by the lack of a serious international reaction, have not been crowned with success. From the outside, the impression is that the analytical developments of the Azerbaijani media even in Azerbaijan itself are viewed with skepticism.