Monday, April 04, 2016

Just another round in the ring?

The conflict between the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region has erupted once again into violence, with casualties starting to mount in the latest round of violence in a squabble that has gone on for decades. This latest round however has been the worst violence the region has seen since the conclusion of the war that ended in 1994, with the azeri territory being controlled by armenian military forces. Both sides continue shelling areas with heavy artillery despite calls for a ceasefire and the resumptions of peace negotiations. Even the Russians have expressed worry, calling for an end to the hostilities and resumption of work on a ceasefire.

But what does this recent spike in conflict mean for the region? And why are the fears of war so suddenly springing forth after decades of relative ease? The troubling answers here could be boiling from other conflicts in the world, as their influence may finally be spreading to other disputes and lighting fuses. With the war in Syria reaching new heights, as well as the tensions between Russia and Turkey, it is likely that this latest round of violence is a symptom of a much larger problem with the region. 

At this particular time it will be most interesting to see how the two big backers, Russia (in support of Armenia) and Turkey (supporting Azerbaijan) handle the escalation, especially considering recent events stemming from the conflict in Syria. Though Russia has already made calls for an end to violence, while Turkey has instead vowed to back Azerbaijan "to the end" which could very well mean military conflicts. It is most likely that Turkey will use this outburst to take another swing against the Russian agenda, even if it is not as outright as shooting down a plane.

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