Recap: Azerbaijani Infiltration on the Goris-Kapan Highway

Recap: Azerbaijani Infiltration on the Goris-Kapan Highway

Yet another wave of Azerbaijani antagonism has struck the Armenian nation. This recent violation has been taken in the form of the blocking of a major transport route within an Armenian province (Syunik) that has already been under siege ever since the end of last year's war (Second Artsakh War).

Text: Zareh-Sevag Sarkissian

 

Approximately around midnight of August 26th, 50 Azerbaijani servicemen blocked the interstate road leading from Goris to Kapan near the village of Davit Bek, reported the Humans Right Defender of Armenia, Arman Tatoyan. Mr. Tatoyan has further stated that this has put a strain on the citizens of Syunik, who are now undergoing major restrictions on food, medical services, and basic necessities. It has also caused immense traffic with many Iranian buses and trucks waiting for hours on end, putting into realisation the fact that the Armenian-Iran road has been since shut, as was confirmed by the Head of Association of Freight Forwarders of Armenia Yeghishe Hovhannisyan.

Not only have the Azerbaijani servicemen been refusing to open the road, but have continued expanding into blocking yet another major road, this time from Goris to Vorotan in the Syunik province of Armenia later during the day. According to Turkologist Varuzhan Geghamyan, this is the method Azerbaijan plans to implement the "transport unblocking of the region"; a sarcastic remark, given the reality depicting otherwise. 

Trilateral negotiations that may result in the opening of the Kapan-Goris road this evening, as reported by Member of Parliament Narek Ghahramanyan of the Civil Contract party, are ongoing. Nevertheless, the National Security Service (NSS) completed its safety protocols by evacuating all citizens and foreigners from a 5-6km section of the Shurnukh – Vorotan area; while the Republic of Armenia (RA) police shut down the southern road of Kapan, detouring traffic towards the Tatev road, reports the Deputy Commander of the NSS. However, the Tatev road is a dirt road and requires 4x4 vehicles for easy traversing; something the Head of Bardzravan village pointed out, but, according to the Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan that same road is being asphalted at a high pace.

Moreover, the villages of Shurnukh and Vorotan are now cut off by the Azerbaijanis from roads connecting them to Armenia. There also are emerging reports that Azerbaijani regular troops are being deployed in Vorotan. Russian peacekeepers increased the security of the Lachin corridor leading to Artsakh in response to what is happening in Shurnukh and Vorotan.

Furthermore, the Mayor of Kapan declared today, August 27th, that the aforementioned negotiations were held in vain, as the roads remain blocked by the Azeri servicemen. It is unclear what may happen given the severity of the situation; whether additional negotiations will fail, exacerbate further future conflicts, or neither.

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