SARAH ALTUWAIJRI WRITES — This past Saturday, October 20, hundreds took to the streets in Santa Clarita, marching to bring awareness to the plight of Armenians and to raise funds for military purchases, infrastructure and humanitarian aid. One of the protesters, Anna Sarvkian, a 19-year-old student stated, “Armenia is on the verge of yet another genocide and the world is silent.”
Many Armenian-Americans are upset about the silence of President Trump and the US government. As a result, many flew out to Washington to protest in front of the White house, and some even traveled to Armenia to engage in fighting.
For decades, Armenia and Azerbaijan have been fighting over Nagorno Karabakh, a mountainous region with a population of 150,000 people. The Soviets gave the region to Azerbaijan, but its ethnic majority is Armenian. Armenian authorities have made many efforts to take control of Nagorno Karabakh but Azerbaijan prevented that, resulting in decades of ethnic clashes. The most recent conflict led to 350 deaths, so other nations stepped in.
Turkey, an ally of Azerbaijan, has sent 1,000 Syrian refugees to fight in Armenia and offer training. Russia is caught in between, with a formal military alliance to Armenia as well as close ties with Azerbaijan. Previously, Russia tried to mediate the conflict, and in 2019 both sides agreed to release a statement declaring the need for “taking concrete measures to prepare the populations for peace.” It failed, and now the UN is now calling for emergency talks in the effort to avoid full-scale war.
On Saturday, both nations agreed to a ceasefire, but by Sunday violence arose, with each side blaming the other. In September, both nations declared Martial Law.
Isn’t this tragic? If the violence worsens, a war could break out involving Turkey, Russia, Iran and France as well as other countries. Will this conflict be resolved? Will the US step into the fray to help? Let’s hope so.