The Armenian battalion “Şehîd Nubar Ozanyan” in Northeast Syria has issued a statement on the current conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The statement says:
“Azerbaijan has been attacking border villages in Armenia since July 12. The historical enmity and conflict continue. Behind the conflict between the two countries, which has been smouldering for years, there is also the fascist AKP/MHP government, which does not for a moment refrain from its provocations and threats of attack.”
The Armenian battalion refers to the recent remarks of Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan and the Minister of Defence Hulusi Akar, who had made a propagandistic vow that “the blood of our Azerbaijani brothers must not be shed.” The Turkish state is behind the Azerbaijani attacks on Armenia, the statement says and continues:
“The AKP/MHP government is hostile to all neighboring countries. With its attacks aimed at occupation and annexation on north-eastern Syria, the Iraqi part of Kurdistan and Libya, it wants to realize its neo-Ottoman dream. The military and political support for the current provocation of the Azerbaijani Government is a continuation of the Turkish state’s fundamental policy toward its neighboring countries. The Turkish state has never abandoned the historical enmity towards the Armenians. In this respect, it could not be expected to remain neutral in the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia.”
A possible war will harm all peoples
The statement further says: “As a battalion founded in the autonomous region of North and East Syria for the defence of our people, we declare that we are against the racist, chauvinist, aggressive and expansionist policies of the Turkish state and stand on the side of the Kurdish, Arab, Syriac, Assyrian and Armenian peoples. We would like to emphasise that we are against the provocations and occupation attacks of the Turkish state against its neighboring countries. A possible war would cause great harm to the Armenian and Azerbaijani people and all peoples of the region. We condemn the enmity of the Turkish state towards the Kurdish, Arab, Armenian, Syriac and Assyrian peoples.”
The Armenian battalion in Rojava named after Nubar Ozanyan
The Armenian battalion “Şehîd Nubar Ozanyan,” founded in 2019 on the Genocide Memorial Day, is an integral part of the revolution of Rojava and its defence. It is named after Armenian Nubar Ozanyan (Nom de Guerre: Orhan Bakırcıyan), who was martyred in Raqqa on August 14, 2017 as commander of the Turkish communist organization TKP/ML-TIKKO in the fight against ISIS.
The old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh
Even though the current fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan is taking place in another region, the conflict revolves mainly around the Nagorno-Karabakh (Arzach) region. Under Soviet rule, the region of Azerbaijan, which is mainly inhabited by Armenians, was struck. In the eighties, Nagorno-Karabakh was brought under control by Armenian guerrilla groups. In 1988, the USSR, which was on the verge of collapse, refused to hand Nagorno-Karabakh over to Armenia. The conflict escalated. Azerbaijanis were displaced and Azerbaijani militias committed serious massacres in Sumgait. On February 27, 1988, the entire Armenian population was displaced or murdered in the town with 290,000 inhabitants. Eyewitnesses reported that the security forces and the city authorities did not intervene despite calls for help, thus further inciting the murdering crowd. The number of those murdered remains controversial. The region declared independence in 1991, but was not recognized internationally. The war over Nagorno-Karabakh ended with a ceasefire in 1994 after more than 30,000 dead.
New Front in the proxy war between Turkey and Russia?
Azerbaijan belongs to Turkey’s sphere of influence and plays an important role, especially in the context of the Pan-Turkish plans of the AKP/MHP regime. Especially for the MHP (Grey Wolves), which are steeped in Pan-Turkism ideology, the “Turkic states” form the basis for a mythological Turkish empire called “Turan.” The AKP also supports this position - especially from a neo-Ottoman and pan-Islamic perspective. For example, in the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, the Aliyev regime in Baku, which is supported by Turkey, and Armenia, which is supported by Russia, meet. The Turkish Foreign Ministry promptly declared in response to the fighting that it would “support Azerbaijan with all means at its disposal in the fight to protect its territorial integrity.” Thus Turkey is opening up a new area of conflict with Russia, alongside Libya and Syria.