Washington, DC – As Congress returned to the nation’s capitol on Monday following a month-long long summer recess, Azerbaijan’s military, led by the authoritarian ruler Ilham Aliyev, launched a series of military strikes against Armenian towns and villages along the Azerbaijan border. Shortly after midnight on Monday, Azerbaijani forces began firing towards the southern Armenian towns of Goris, Jermuk, Vardenis and Sotk, Armenian Defense Ministry spokesperson Aram Torosyan said.
On Capitol Hill, the Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Jackie Speier (D-CA), David Valadao (R-CA), and Adam Schiff (D-CA) issued a statement on Azerbaijani attacks on Armenia, saying “We strongly condemn the escalation of hostilities by Azerbaijani forces in southern Armenia. Yet again, President Aliyev is employing the same deadly attacks on sovereign Armenian territory to seek justification for his continued hostility and assaults since the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War and to force Armenia to capitulate to his unreasonable territorial demands. World leaders should not stand idly by and make false equivocations between the two sides. There is only one aggressor in this conflict that must be stopped. We urge the Biden Administration to take immediate action to halt Azerbaijan’s aggressions and finally hold Aliyev accountable for his destabilizing actions.”
“The Armenian Council of America (ACA) applauds the Armenian Caucus leadership for the urgent call on the Biden Administration to condemn Azerbaijan’s latest military strikes against America’s democratic ally, Armenia, and take immediate action to hold the Aliyev regime accountable,” stated ACA Board Chairman Sevak Khatchadorian. “ACA strongly condemns Azerbaijan’s aggression against Armenia once again and calls on the Biden Administration to take substantive measures aimed at halting the Azerbaijani terror unleashed against peaceful Armenian civilians,” Khatchadorian said.
Hours after the Azeri attacks, the The State Department issued a statement expressing “deep concern” regarding “strikes against settlements and civilian infrastructure inside Armenia [by Azerbaijan],” said Secretary Antony Blinken, who had just returned to Washington from Kyiv, Ukraine. On Tuesday, Blinken held telephone conversations with the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia. According to State Department Spokesperson Ned Price, “Secretary Blinken urged President Aliyev to cease hostilities and stressed that the United States would push for an immediate halt to fighting and a peace settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan.” In his call with Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Blinken “stressed the need for disengagement of military forces and assured Prime Minister Pashinyan that the United States would push for an immediate halt to fighting and a peace settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan.”
On Tuesday, attempts by Russia to broker a cease-fire have reportedly failed when increased hostilities had continued along the border, with Armenia suffering 49 casualties, and the Azerbaijani side not releasing military casualty numbers.
“Congress, and the American people, should no longer tolerate their tax dollars going to a barbaric ruler who uses that money and American training to kill innocent Armenian men, women and children,” Khatchadorian said. “We urge Secretary Blinken to follow through on his words with concrete actions, beginning with an immediate suspension of the waiver he issued earlier this year with respect to Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act. To President Biden, we say to you that innocent Armenian lives are on the line, as is democracy in the South Caucasus. If you’re serious about helping democracies push back against the evil in this world, then we urge you to help Armenia fight back against the growing threat of the genocidal regime in Baku.”