Starting on September 27, the war between Azerbaijan and the Republic of Artsakh resumed. Also known as Nagorno-Karabakh, Artsakh is a region within Azerbaijan that is predominately Armenian, and since 1994 has been controlled by Armenians. The war ended on November 10 with the Armenians of Artsakh losing most of the territory it had controlled. In this episode, Robert Nicholson of the Philos Project talks with Mark Melton about why this war happened, how Turkey was involved, what the Armenians are losing, what the US government should do next, why the world didn’t help Artsakh, and what may happen to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan now. Melton and Nicholson also cover how this conflict fits into region’s geopolitics and how this all affects the United States. Finally, they discuss what Recep Tayyip Erdoğan may do next, particularly in Cyprus, and what the Biden administration should do more broadly in the Middle East, especially with the Arab–Israeli peace movement.

Maps of the Region:

Map of the wider region, including the territory Artsakh lost and major roads. Russia has a military base in Gyumri, Armenia, near the border with Turkey. Source: Wikimedia Commons
Map showing details of the ceasfire agreement. The dark dotted line is the original Line of Control before the war began, and the light dotted line marks territory Artsakh claims but Azerbaijan controlled before the war. Azerbaijan took the territory in dark green from Artsakh before the war ended, and the pink territory is what Artsakh will retain after the ceasefire. Armenians will transfer the territory in shades of lighter green to the Azeris before December 1, 2020. Russian peacekeeping troops will be stationed in the remaining Artsakh territory and will guard the Lachin corridor connecting Armenia and Artsakh. Russia will also build a new road through the mountains around Shushi (Shusha), which Azerbaijan’s military took before the ceasefire. Russia will also build and monitor another corridor connecting the Azerbaijani territory of Nakhchivan to the rest of the country, which is separated by Armenia. This region is mountainous, and currently east-west roads going from Nakhchivan run along the Iranian border to south and through Sisian and Goris in the north. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Map of the existing and planned oil and gas pipelines from Baku, Azerbaijan. Those going around Tbilisi, Georgia, pass near Artsakh. Source: Wikimedia Commons.