Attacking Ganja is part of Armenian state terrorism (ANALYTICS)

by Naghi Ahmadov

Exactly two years ago today, on October 11, 2020, Armenia fired ballistic missiles and rockets at the residential areas of Ganja, Azerbaijan’s second largest city. Curiously, the Ganja attack happened hours after the ceasefire agreed between the Russian, Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers in Moscow on October 10, 2022. Violating the regime’s demands for a ceasefire humanitarian fire obtained, Armenia has once again clearly shown that it ignores the norms. and principles of international law.

It should be noted that during the 44-day war, Armenia repeatedly bombarded Ganja, located hundreds of kilometers from the front, on October 4, 5, 8, 11 and 17 with rockets and artillery heavy. As a result of these attacks, 26 civilians, including 10 women and 6 children, were killed, 175 people, including 57 women and 32 children, were injured. In addition, more than 10 multi-apartment buildings and more than 100 facilities were damaged. In connection with the shelling of the city of Ganja, a criminal case was opened in the General Prosecutor’s Office of Azerbaijan under the relevant articles of the Criminal Code.

Targeting civilian areas outside the zone of hostilities, Armenia, on the one hand, aimed to sow terror among the civilian population, but on the other hand, indirectly tried to conceal its defeat on the field of battle and raise his “reputation” with his own people.

In taking this step, Pashinyan’s government was counting on the incitement of the Azerbaijani army and the widening of the geography of the conflict. Instead, the Azerbaijani armed forces reacted wisely and were content to target military targets in retaliatory strikes. As a result of the counter-offensive operations that began on September 27, the Armenian army did not stand up, and the Azerbaijani army liberated the occupied territories in just 44 days.

It should be noted here that Ganja Attack was not the first time that Armenia fired on the civilian population to compensate for the defeats it usually suffers in the operating theater. This has already happened several times in 1992-1994, in 2016, in July 2020.

Armenia, targeting civilians from Ganja, Barda, Tartar and other densely populated cities in Azerbaijan, certainly committed acts of terrorism and war crimes. It was indeed the continuation of the script – which Armenia did to Khojaly and Bashlibel. Therefore, since these acts were clearly committed on the direct instructions of the military and political leadership of Armenia, this clearly indicates the terrorist policy of the Armenian state.

Unfortunately, neither international organizations nor OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by France, the Russian Federation and the United States failed to respond adequately to Armenian war crimes. This silence, as expected, encouraged Armenian criminals to launch new attacks.

In summary, the international community should categorically condemn the fact that the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia ignore the universal norms and principles of international law as an act of war crime. In doing so, they would contribute to ensuring justice and peace throughout the region.

Naghi Ahmadovsenior researcher at the International Relations Analysis Center (AIR Center) specifically for News.Az

Thelma J. Longworth