#nagorno-karabakh

  • Drone Terror from Turkey. Arms buildup and crimes under international law - with German participation

    In Kurdistan, Libya or Azerbaijan, Turkish “#Bayraktar_TB2” have already violated international law. Currently, the civilian population in Ethiopia is being bombed with combat drones. Support comes from Germany, among others.

    For almost two decades, companies from the USA and Israel were the undisputed market leaders for armed drones; today, China and Turkey can claim more and more exports for themselves. Turkey is best known for its “Bayraktar TB2,” which the military has been using since 2016 in the Turkish, Syrian and now also Iraqi parts of Kurdistan in violation of international law. In the four-month #Operation_Olive_Branch in Kurdish #Rojava alone, the “TB2” is said to have scored 449 direct hits four years ago and enabled fighter jets or helicopters to make such hits in 680 cases. It has a payload of 65 kilograms and can remain in the air for over 24 hours.

    The Turkish military also flies the “#Anka”, which is also capable of carrying weapons and is manufactured by #Turkish_Aerospace_Industries (#TAI). In a new version, it can be controlled via satellites and thus achieves a greater range than the “#TB2”. The “Anka” carries up to 200 kilograms, four times the payload of its competitors. The newest version of both drones can now stay in the air for longer than 24 hours.

    Drone industry is dependent on imports

    The “Anka” is also being exported, but the “TB2” is currently most widely used. The drone is manufactured by #Baykar, whose founder and namesake is #Selçuk_Bayraktar, a son-in-law of the Turkish president. The “TB2” also flew attacks on Armenian troops off #Nagorno-Karabakh, for the Tripoli government in Libya and for Azerbaijan; there it might have even - together with unmanned aerial vehicles of Israeli production - been decisive for the war, according to some observers.

    The aggressive operations prompted further orders; after Qatar, Ukraine, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkmenistan, Baykar is the first NATO country to sell the drone to Poland. About a dozen countries are said to have already received deliveries, and about as many are said to be considering procurement. Interest is reportedly coming from as far away as Lithuania and even the United Kingdom.

    The comparatively young Turkish drone industry is able to produce many of the components for its unmanned aerial vehicles itself or buy them from domestic suppliers, but manufacturers are still dependent on imports for key components. This applies to engines, for example, which are also produced in Turkey but are less powerful than competing products. For this reason, the “TB2” flew with Rotax engines from Austria, among others. Following Turkey’s support for the Azerbaijani war of aggression, the company stopped supplying Baykar.

    Canada imposes export ban

    According to the Kurdish news agency ANF, Baykar has also made purchases from Continental Motors, a U.S. corporation partly based in Germany that took over Thielert Aircraft Engines GmbH eight years ago. A cruise control system made by the Bavarian company MT-Propeller was found in a crashed “TB2”. According to the Armenian National Committee of America, a radar altimeter manufactured by SMS Smart Microwave Sensors GmbH and a fuel filter made by Hengst were also installed in the drone.

    However, exports of these products are not subject to licensing, and sales may also have been made through intermediaries. Hengst, for example, also sells its products through automotive wholesalers; the company says it does not know how the filter came into Baykar’s possession.

    Originally, the “TB2” was also equipped with a sensor module from the Canadian manufacturer Wescam. This is effectively the eye of the drone, mounted in a hemispherical container on the fuselage. This so-called gimbal can be swiveled 360° and contains, among other things, optical and infrared-based cameras as well as various laser technologies. Wescam also finally ended its cooperation with Baykar after the government in Ottawa issued an export ban on the occasion of the war over Nagorno-Karabakh. The country had already imposed a temporary halt to deliveries following Turkish operations in the Kurdish region of Rojava in North Syria.

    “Eye” of the drone from Hensoldt

    Selçuk Bayraktar commented on the decision made by the Canadian Foreign Minister, saying that the required sensor technology could now also be produced in Turkey. In the meantime, the Turkish company Aselsan has also reported in newspapers close to the government that the sensor technology can now be produced completely domestically. Presumably, however, these devices are heavier than the imported products, so that the payload of small combat drones would be reduced.

    Hensoldt, a German company specializing in sensor technology, has been one of the suppliers. This was initially indicated by footage of a parade in the capital of Turkmenistan, where a freshly purchased “TB2” was also displayed to mark the 30th anniversary of the attainment of independence in Aşgabat last year. In this case, the drone was equipped with a gimbal from Hensoldt. It contains the ARGOS-II module, which, according to the product description, has a laser illuminator and a laser marker. This can be used, for example, to guide a missile into the target.

    Hensoldt was formed after a spinoff of several divisions of defense contractor Airbus, including its radar, optronics, avionics and electronic device jamming businesses. As a company of outstanding security importance, the German government has secured a blocking minority. The Italian defense group Leonardo is also a shareholder.

    Rocket technology from Germany

    The ARGOS module is manufactured by Hensoldt’s offshoot Optronics Pty in Pretoria, South Africa. When asked, a company spokesman confirmed the cooperation with Baykar. According to the company, the devices were delivered from South Africa to Turkey in an undisclosed quantity “as part of an order”. In the process, “all applicable national and international laws and export control regulations” were allegedly complied with.

    The arming of the “TB2” with laser-guided missiles was also carried out with German assistance. This is confirmed by answers to questions in the German Bundestag reported by the magazine “Monitor”. According to these reports, the German Foreign Ministry has issued several export licenses for warheads of an anti-tank missile since 2010. They originate from the company TDW Wirksysteme GmbH from the Bavarian town of Schrobenhausen, an offshoot of the European missile manufacturer MBDA.

    According to the report, the sales were presumably made to the state-owned Turkish company Roketsan. Equipment or parts for the production of the missiles are also said to have been exported to Turkey. The TDW guided missiles were of the “LRAT” and “MRAT” types, which are produced in Turkey under a different name. Based on the German exports, Roketsan is said to have developed the “MAM” missiles for drones; they are now part of the standard equipment of the “TB2”. These so-called micro-precision munitions are light warheads that can be used to destroy armored targets.

    Export licenses without end-use statement

    Roketsan sells the MAM guided missiles in three different versions, including a so-called vacuum bomb. Their development may have been carried out with the cooperation of the Bavarian company Numerics Software GmbH, according to ANF Deutsch. Numerics specializes in calculating the optimal explosive effect of armor-piercing weapons. According to the German Foreign Ministry, however, the company’s products, for which licenses have been issued for delivery to Turkey, are not suitable for the warheads in question.

    When the German government issues export licenses for military equipment, it can insist on a so-called end-use declaration. In the case of Turkey, the government would commit to obtaining German permission before reselling to a third country. The Foreign Ministry would not say whether such exchanges on missiles, sensors or other German technology have taken place. In total, export licenses for goods “for use or installation in military drones” with a total value of almost 13 million euros have been issued to Turkey, according to a response from last year.

    Deployment in Ethiopia

    As one of the current “hot spots”, the “Bayraktar TB2” is currently being deployed by Ethiopia in the civil war with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). As recently as December, the Tigrinese rebels were on the verge of entering the capital Addis Ababa, but the tide has since turned. Many observers attribute this to the air force. The Ethiopian military has 22 Russian MiG-23 and Sukhoi-27 fighter jets, as well as several attack helicopters.

    But the decisive factor is said to have been armed drones, whose armament allows far more precise attacks. “There were suddenly ten drones in the sky”, the rebel general Tsadokan Gebretensae confirmed to the New York Times in an interview. In a swarm, these had attacked soldiers and convoys. The Reuters news agency quotes a foreign military who claims to have “clear indications” of a total of 20 drones in use. However, these also come from China and Iran.

    Evidence, meanwhile, shows that the Turkish combat drones are used as before in Kurdistan and other countries for crimes under international law. On several occasions, they have also flown attacks on civilians, including in convoys with refugees. Hundreds of people are reported to have died under Turkish-made bombs and missiles.

    After the “TB2” comes the significantly larger “Akıncı”

    In the future, the Turkish military could deploy a significantly larger drone with two engines, which Baykar has developed under the name “Akıncı”. This drone will be controlled via satellites, which will significantly increase its range compared to the “TB2”. Its payload is said to be nearly 1.5 tons, of which 900 kilograms can be carried under the wings as armament. According to Baykar, the “Akıncı” can also be used in aerial combat. Unarmed, it can be equipped with optical sensors, radar systems or electronic warfare technology.

    Baykar’s competitor TAI is also developing a long-range drone with two engines. The “#Aksungur” is said to have capabilities comparable to the “#Akıncı” and was first flown for tests in 2019.

    http://kurdistan-report.de/index.php/english/1282-drone-terror-from-turkey-arms-buildup-and-crimes-under-interna
    #Turquie #Kurdistan #Kurdistan_turque #drones #armes #Allemagne #drones_de_combat #drones_armés #industrie_militaire #Rotax #Continental_Motors #SMS_Smart_Microwave_Sensors #Hengst #Wescam #Aselsan #technologie #ARGOS-II #Airbus #Optronics_Pty

  • Iran e Azerbaijan: la crisi dei camion
    https://www.balcanicaucaso.org/aree/Azerbaijan/Iran-e-Azerbaijan-la-crisi-dei-camion-213440

    Dopo due settimane di tensioni crescenti tra Iran e Azerbaijan ora pare finalmente che si sia ridato voce alla diplomazia. Al centro della crisi le rotte commerciali che passano attraverso il Nagorno Karabakh

  • Azerbaijan claims to have captured key town in Nagorno-Karabakh | World news | The Guardian

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/08/azerbaijan-claims-to-have-captured-key-city-in-nagorno-karabakh

    SI on en croit aussi les agence de presse turques, mais un journaliste russe sur place écrit que les combats continue dans la rue et que la situation est encore très instable. Que les Azerbaïdjanais contrôle ou pas Choucha pour l’instant, c’était déjà impensable il y a quelques semaine qu’ils passent ne serait-ce que la ligne de front située à des dizaine de kilomètres de là.

    Azerbaijan has said it has recaptured the symbolic town of Shusha, a claim denied by Armenian officials as fighting in the bloody six-week-old battle over the Nagorno-Karabakh territory appeared to reach an apex.

    “[This day] will become a great day in the history of Azerbaijan,” said Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev, in a televised address. His announcement on Sunday was greeted with celebrations on the streets of Baku as Azerbaijanis gathered to wave flags and sing.

  • Trench warfare, drones and cowering civilians: on the ground in #Nagorno-Karabakh | Photography | The Guardian
    http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2020/oct/13/trench-warfare-drones-and-cowering-civilians-on-the-ground-in-nagorno-k

    The battle over Nagorno-#Karabakh, waged on and off for a century, has flared anew and civilians once again suffer the consequences
    by Bethan McKernan in Stepanakert. Pictures by Achilleas Zavallis
    Tue 13 Oct 2020 06.00 BST

    Last modified on Tue 13 Oct 2020 09.38 BST

    242

    Over the road from the 8-metre-deep crater left by a medium-range missile, Sergei Hovhnnesyan and three of his neighbours are hunkering down in the basement storage space of their local grocery shop in Stepanakert, a mountain town in the heart of the Nagorno-Karabakh territory claimed by both Armenia and Azerbaijan.

  • Those closest to #Nagorno-Karabakh conflict ‘most supportive of peace’

    Those who have experienced the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict first-hand and are most affected by the hostilities are more supportive of peaceful reconciliation, a report from UK-based peacebuilding group International Alert suggests.

    ‘Envisioning Peace’ is the first large-scale study of attitudes towards the conflict since renewed hostilities during the April 2016 Four-Day War.

    The study examined ‘grassroot’ views on Nagorno-Karabakh by those living there and among communities in Azerbaijan and Armenia. Respondents included internally displaced persons (IDPs) and those living near the frontline.

    The study suggested that those most affected by the armed confrontations — living in border communities or near the ceasefire line, and those who had personally faced consequences of the war — were more supportive of peaceful reconciliation with the ‘other’ side.

    ‘These individuals understand the importance of resolving this conflict and can take practical steps to promote peacebuilding initiatives’, said Carey Cavanaugh, the Chairman of the Board of International Alert, who is a former co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group.

    The OSCE Minsk Group, led by Russia, France, and the United States, has been mediating the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh since 1992.

    ‘The further people live from the frontline, the more strongly they speak about patriotism’, the report said.
    Powerlessness to resolve conflict

    The report noted the effects of long-lasting hostilities on the communities they had to adapt to, making the conflict a constant part of their lives. ‘I haven’t even thought about what my life would be like without the conflict’, one interviewee says in the study.

    This sort of coping and a ‘learned helplessness’ — less faith in having a control over one’s surroundings, life, and future — among respondents could have a negative influence on peacebuilding initiatives aimed at conflict transformation, the report suggests.

    Respondents in all three societies expressed a sense of powerlessness in resolving the conflict. This, the study suggests, together with a low trust in external peacebuilding actors like the Minsk Group, the US, and Russia, pose additional challenges to policymakers and peace negotiators.

    Protracted conflict, according to the study, was being accompanied by enemy image propaganda, especially by the Azerbaijani state and media.

    The study reflected contrasting attitudes of Azerbaijanis and Armenians on transforming the years-old ‘no peace no war’ stalemate. According to the report, respondents in Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia identified the status quo with ‘stability’, while for Azerbaijanis, it evoked the concept of ‘justice’, which they associate with the ‘return of territories’.

    International Alert called for more support for initiatives that would help all three societies to overcome a trend of devaluing human life, and to explore more about the lives of individuals in the border areas.

    The peacebuilding group also underlined the continued exclusion of refugees in all three societies from the conflict discourse.

    ‘It is important to put the focus back on the individual who has shouldered the heavy burden of war, their feelings, thoughts, fears and hopes. Personal history must be clearly seen and valued. Only then will it become possible to appreciate a person’s worth and activity’, the report reads.

    The group suggests ‘open media projects’ as one of the tools to highlight personal stories.

    [Read on OC Media: ‘I would never return home again’ — the Azerbaijani IDPs as old as the conflict]

    The group advocated for raising awareness of members of the communities about the personal cost of conflict both in humanitarian and economic terms.

    ‘If people realise that every individual and every family is paying for the conflict and not for peace, this could help to alter the dynamics of the conflict’, the report reads.

    The group recommends highlighting how conflict reinforces social justice grievances, a problem seen as important among respondents from all communities.
    ‘Status quo no longer in Armenia’s favour’

    On Monday, outgoing US Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills identified the unresolved conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh and resulting economic blockade from Azerbaijan and Turkey as contributing to corruption in Armenia.

    ‘The status quo is no longer in Armenia’s favour […] Corruption didn’t grow because there are evil people here. The ground was pretty fertile for it because you have closed borders and a very small economy, so it’s very easy to control markets’, Mills said in an interview with EVN Report.

    In the same interview, Mills said he had been ‘struck’ by a lack of discussion in Armenia on what could be ‘acceptable solutions and compromise’ for Armenians, and said that settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict would require Armenia to ‘return some occupied territories’ to Azerbaijan.

    [Read on OC Media: ‘Enhanced security’: Armenian settlers in Nagorno-Karabakh]

    On Wednesday, acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan shortly commented the statement, saying that Armenia’s position was known to the public and ‘has not changed’.

    Russia, another Minsk Group co-chairing country, recently angered Azerbaijani authorities when on 7 October, Svetlana Zhurova, deputy chair of the Russian Duma’s International Affairs Committee, visited Nagorno-Karabakh without their prior permission.

    Her trip was part of the ‘Women for Peace’ initiative under Pashinyan’s wife, Anna Hakobyan.

    Zhurova ended up being blacklisted by the Azerbaijani government for ‘illegally’ entering Nagorno-Karabakh.
    Renewal of talks

    The OSCE Minsk Group, created in 1992, remains the only format for peace negotiations. It has yielded no major breakthroughs in recent years.

    Azerbaijan’s leadership continues to insist on respecting the country’s territorial integrity and on Armenia withdrawing their armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

    Since a change of power in Armenia in May, new Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has insisted on including the Nagorno-Karabakh authorities in the negotiation process as a party directly involved in the conflict.

    Azerbaijan has rejected the proposal.

    Nevertheless, at a Minsk Group–mediated meeting on 27 September on the margins of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly, top Armenian and Azerbaijani diplomats agreed to continue negotiations.

    Talks between the two are expected to resume during the co-chairs’ ‘upcoming’ visit to the region.

    Hopes for progress were reignited after informal talks between Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Dushanbe on 28 September. The meeting was the first public interaction between the two countries’ leaders following the change in power in Armenia.

    After the meeting, both leaders confirmed that they had agreed to open a direct line of communication between each other through their defence ministries, in order to prevent incidents along the Nagorno-Karabakh line of contact.


    http://oc-media.org/those-closest-to-nagorno-karabakh-conflict-most-supportive-of-peace
    #paix #Arménie #conflit
    ping @reka
    En italien:
    https://www.balcanicaucaso.org/aree/Nagorno-Karabakh/Nagorno-Karabakh-piu-vicini-al-fronte-piu-a-favore-della-pace-190742

  • Why the West Needs #Azerbaijan – Foreign Policy
    http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/05/28/why-the-west-needs-azerbaijan


    Teenagers from a boxing school take part in a training session in the Caspian Sea near Soviet oil rigs in the Azerbaijani capital Baku on June 27, 2015.
    KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images

    There are only three ways for energy and trade to flow overland between Asia and Europe: through Iran, through Russia, and through Azerbaijan. With relations between the West, Moscow, and Tehran in tatters, that leaves onlyone viable route for hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of trade: through the tiny Caspian Sea nation of Azerbaijan.

    When you factor in Armenia’s occupation of almost one-fifth of Azerbaijan’s territory, all that is left is a narrow 60-mile-wide chokepoint for trade. We call this trade chokepoint the " #Ganja_Gap ” — named after Azerbaijan’s second largest city, Ganja, which sits in the middle of this narrow passage. And right now, the Russians hold enough influence over Azerbaijan’s rival neighbor Armenia to potentially reignite the bloody #Nagorno-Karabakh conflict of the late 1980s and early 1990s — giving them a dangerous opportunity to threaten the “Gap” itself.
    […]
    It is not just oil and gas pipelines that connect Europe with the heart of Asia. Fiber-optic cables linking Western Europe with the Caspian region also pass through the Ganja Gap. The second-longest European motorway, the E60, which connects Brest, France, on the Atlantic coast with Irkeshtam, Kyrgyzstan, on the Chinese border, passes through the city of Ganja, as does the east-west rail link in the South Caucasus, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. These are set to become potentially vital connections.

    The ongoing campaign in Afghanistan has also proven how important the Ganja Gap is for resupplying U.S. and NATO troops. At the peak of the war, more than one-third of U.S. nonlethal military supplies such as fuel, food, and clothing passed through the Ganja Gap either overland or in the air.

  • Nagorno-Karabakh: The Conflict No-one, Including Israel, Wants to Solve - World News - Haaretz - Israel News Haaretz.com

    http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/.premium-1.712542

    Outside observers don’t have a clear idea who started the latest rounds of artillery shelling between the Azerbaijani army and the pro-Armenian separatists, in what has been described as the worst fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave since the ceasefire in the Azerbaijan-Armenia war in 1994. The roots of the war are in the ancient enmity between the Christian Armenians and the Muslim Azeris and for over quarter of a century now, has been the result of the messy dissolution of the Soviet Union which left an area with an ethnic-Armenian majority, which wants to join Armenia, within Azerbaijan’s sovereign territory.

    #haut_karabagh

  • Azerbaijan declares cease-fire, but fighting continues in breakaway enclave - The Washington Post

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/azerbaijan-declares-ceasefire-but-fighting-continues-in-breakaway-enclave/2016/04/03/71a37f8e-f9a6-11e5-886f-a037dba38301_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_hp-i

    MOSCOW — Even as Azerbaijan announced a unilateral cease-fire Sunday, reports of sporadic fighting between Azerbaijani and ethnic Armenian forces over the separatist enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh continued. Regional and world leaders called for an end to the worst violence in the region since a cease-fire halted a war over the territory in 1994.

    Armenia and Azerbaijan, both former Soviet republics, fought a bloody ethnic war over the territory as the Soviet Union fell apart. About 20,000 people died. Formally a part of Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh is de facto controlled by a separatist government backed by Armenia and has increasingly been the site of sporadic border conflicts in recent years. Today, nearly all of its population is ethnically Armenian.

    #haut-karabakh

  • New Nations, Living in Limbo
    By Jonathan Blaustein


    There are corners of the globe where breakaway countries exist in #geopolitical purgatory, embraced by their would-be leaders yet unrecognized by the international community.

    And Narayan Mahon wanted to document them.

    This fascinating realization came to him in 2005, when he learned about “#unrecognized_countries” while studying at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. At the time, he was just becoming interested in photography as well, so he applied to graduate school at Syracuse University with the express intention of visiting unrecognized countries for a long-term documentary photography project. It was a big stretch, given his limited knowledge of either subject.

    “This is the first thing I ever worked on; the first photographic idea I ever had,” he said. “I had a point-and-shoot digital camera, and I didn’t know what aperture meant. I didn’t know an f-stop from a stop sign.”

    He soon learned. Financing his project with student loans and a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, he embarked on his research in earnest. He set some very strict standards for the places he wanted to visit: that it maintain its borders and have a working government that seeks — but does not receive — international recognition.


    He ended up with a list that included #Abkhazia, which had seceded from Georgia; Transnistria, which had broken off from #Moldova; Nagorno-Karabakh, which had been a part of Azerbaijan; Northern Cyprus, which was a partition of that island nation; and Somaliland, which separated from the barely functioning country of #Somalia. Not surprisingly, the first three on his list emerged when the Soviet Union collapsed.
    http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/09/29/new-nations-living-in-limbo
    #nation #state #photo #photographie #photography #