Azerbaijan Pushes into Nakhichevan Borderlands
This Azerbaijani trench (white) is the latest in the engineering works completed by the Azerbaijani military. These latest actions have led to the strategic height coming under the control of Azerbaijan during autumn of this year. Imagery courtesy of Planet Labs, 28 October 2018. Click the image for full size.
Recent satellite imagery from Planet Labs shows ongoing engineering works by the Azerbaijani armed forces on the Nakhichevan border into what was once considered neutral territory.
Azerbaijani attempts to sidle up closer to the Armenian frontline since the 1994 ceasefire have primarily taken place on the Nagorno-Karabakh border, reducing the point of contact to fewer than a few hundred meters in most areas.
The east-most Armenian trench is likely unmanned. Imagery courtesy of Planet Labs, 31 October 2018. Click the image for full size.
These moves along the border of Nakhichevan, one of which is detailed in the above imagery and in other reports, have been the largest takeover of territory since the end of the war. Armenia has also used similar tactics with its push into new heights in 2012 and in 2014/2015, but recent imagery provided by Planet Labs indicates that Azerbaijan is now in more favourable positions than Armenia following the last ten years of jockeying for positions in the region.
Azerbaijan’s goal of improving its position in the region, including new engineering work of constructing roads, and pushing closer to Armenian trenches has the potential to diverge into a new conflict on a second front. Bellingcat has previously reported on Azerbaijan increasing its military presence in the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic.
Hayk Khachikyan, an analyst from Razm.info, earlier this year noted three sections of engineering works pushing into the neutral territory in his analysis “What is Happening in Nakhichevan?” According to Khachikyan, Azerbaijan’s expansion into new strategic heights …read more