The impact of the Israeli conflict on the situation in the region. Will Azerbaijan start a war?
Will there be a war
Will Azerbaijan start a war
Overlapping conflicts are increasingly complicating and aggravating the world situation. New conflicts divert the attention of the international community from the old, and many countries are watching processes seemingly distant from them. Political analysts consider the Arab-Israeli conflict a link in the chain of world processes.
Armenian analysts comment on how the Palestinian-Israeli conflict may affect the South Caucasus region and whether Baku will use this situation to invade Armenia.
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David Stepanyan, political scientist
The West’s agenda
“I do not see any special opportunities for the influence of another round of the Arab-Israeli conflict on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. This is demonstrated by the statements made from Washington, Brussels and now also from London. The agenda of the collective West as the main moderator of the settlement of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan does not change in connection with the Arab-Israeli war.
The situation in the Gaza Strip, first of all, affects Iran as a country directly involved in this conflict. But still not to the extent that it makes Tehran distant from the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, which poses a threat to itself as well.
And Israel is actively using Azerbaijan as an observation, reconnaissance and, in the future, possibly even military bridgehead. So Iran cannot lose sight of the development of the situation in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.”
All conflicts are manageable
“Baku can attack Armenia always and at any moment, but the situation in the Gaza Strip is not the kind of conflict that can make international actors ignore it.
In global politics, regional boundaries have long been blurred, and the US considers the South Caucasus as part of the Middle East. But the issue is not geography, but the essence of this conflict.
The conflict that is unfolding today between Israel and Hamas is elaborate. It is based on the far-reaching calculations of Israel, as well as the US, which supports it. It is the destruction of Hamas.
Hamas is a Palestinian Islamist movement and political party. Controls the Gaza Strip in Palestine.
This conflict is manageable. Iran – even at the level of Hezbollah – limits itself to diplomacy and statements, and in reality does nothing to prevent Israel from gradually and methodically destroying Hamas.
Hezbollah is a Lebanese paramilitary organization and political party advocating the establishment of an Islamic state in Lebanon modeled on Iran.
Iran understands the risks of the war going beyond the Gaza Strip, given the possible intervention of the United States, which has already sent its aircraft carriers to the Mediterranean Sea to the shores of Israel and Lebanon.
Any conflict is manageable, including ours. The other day, US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs James O’Brien said very clearly that the US is closely monitoring all military movements of Azerbaijani equipment on the border.
So at this stage, attacking Armenia would be a shot in the foot for Aliyev. Aliyev will simply take the path of Saddam Hussein. He understands this perfectly well and is trying to build his claims against Armenia on other possibilities, along other lines. In particular, Aliyev has started making claims against France, accuses Armenia of revanchism, etc.”
Armen Hovhannisyan, Political Analyst
Influence adjustments in the region
“Any conflict can make adjustments in other regions. Say, the ongoing Ukrainian conflict has affected the situation around the world, especially in the post-Soviet space.
For example, preparations for the war in Ukraine included a 44-day war in Artsakh, which Russia calls a “successfully conducted operation.”
Moscow wanted to act according to the same scenario in Ukraine, but the first stage of this, as they call it, “operation” failed, and much in their plans has changed.
Russia partially ceded its positions in the South Caucasus to Turkey on the condition that Ankara would remain neutral in Ukraine. Which it is doing. Turkey’s actions do not go further than rare condemnations of Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.
But the failure of the first stage of the war in Ukraine, when Russian troops had to retreat from under Kiev and withdraw from the central regions to the south and east, accelerated Russia’s withdrawal from the South Caucasus as well. This automatically increased Turkey’s influence in the region. Turkey, by continuing to cooperate with Russia in various areas, including gas re-export, is gradually squeezing Russia out of the South Caucasus.”
Is Armenia under the protection of the West?
“The attitude towards Armenia in the world has changed. If Armenia in 2020 was perceived as an ally of Russia, even a satellite, dependent on Moscow and not a sovereign state, today the West’s attitude towards Armenia is changing before our eyes. Today, the West considers Yerevan a partner and possible ally in future stages, and this is stated directly.
The adoption of the “Armenia Protection Act of 2023″ by the US Senate speaks volumes. Supportive statements were made by the European Parliament and the European Commission. France, India and a number of other states have started military-technical cooperation.”
Risk of being placed in a hostile state status
“Israel is a state in which incredible resources have been invested over the years. And the position of the American political elite as the main player in the region is well known – the destruction of the closest ally of the United States cannot be allowed.
At some point, the West shifted its attention to the Israeli conflict, which caused some confusion among the political leadership of Ukraine. But today the Biden administration is trying to be present in solving both problems. It is providing military-technical as well as financial assistance to both at the same time.
The expansion of the Israeli war may have risks for us. But I see no possibility of that with the presence and presence of American aircraft carriers and ballistic missile submarines in the Mediterranean.
This is an absolutely clear signal to all players in the region that the involvement of third forces will not be tolerated and there should be no expansion of the war.
Of course, Baku could take advantage of the fact that the attention of the international community is focused on other conflicts and attack Armenia. For the decision to attack has already been made, it is only a question of timing and details.
However, the actions of the US, EU and France have made it very clear to Aliyev that in case of such a development of events Azerbaijan will find itself in the status of a state hostile to the West.
I do not think that Aliyev’s regime at this stage is ready to pay such a price, to become a country hostile to the Western world, to ally itself with Russia, North Korea, Belarus. The elite formed around Aliyev should reflect and realize the consequences of their actions”.
Armenia must stand on its feet
“As long as the Aliyev regime exists and as long as its backbone has not been broken, the threat of war will always be there. But Armenia, which lags behind Azerbaijan in terms of military-political balance, must also rebuild its forces.
From the moment Azerbaijan realizes that an attack on Armenia will cost it enormously, we can say that the threat of war is negligible. Today this price does not seem to them to be incredible.
The actions of the US, EU, France, India are aimed at buying time and restoring this balance of power in the region.
We are given time to restore the military-political balance in the region with the help of the West and other friendly countries.
Exactly military-political, because issues are decided not only by the number of weapons, but also by alliances, ties, pacts in which you participate, participation in international economic projects, etc.
And we only have two or three years to do that. Two or three years to do our homework. So that later on, even if the world switches to other problems, we will be able to resist Azerbaijan’s aggression, because it will always have plans to attack Armenia.”
Начнется ли война