Claims of Armenian Killing Spree in Khojalou is Azeri Propaganda

OTTAWA–There is no evidence that the Armenia’s of Nagorno-Karabagh committed "genocide against Meskhetian Turks of Khojalou," said Canadian military historian Patrick Wilson Gore, during the launch of his latest book last week Thursday.

The allegation are merely claims from the Azeri propaganda machine, Gore said.

The Canadian military historian made the statement at the launch of “Tis Some Poor Fellow’s Skull—Post-Soviet Warfare in the Southern Caucasus” at the embassy of the Republic of Armenia. The gathering was co-sponsored by the Armenian Embassy and the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC).

After welcoming remarks by Arman Agopian, the charge d’affaires of the Republic of Armenia and an introduction of the author by Paul Douzjian, board member of the ANCC, Gore presented a brief history of Nagorno-Karabagh, the legal and political aspects of the crisis, the origins of the war, economic background, battles, strategic objectives, the aftermath, and the current state of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe peace negotiation.

Gore stated that Stalin’s inclusion of Nagorno-Karabagh within the territory of Azerbaijan was due to his "paranoia" of Armenia’s and a secret deal between him and Ataturk, the Turkish dictator.

The Canadian expert stated that for 70 years, Armenia’s of Nagorno-Karabagh were treated as second-class citizens under Azeri rule. The treatment of Armenia’s by Azeris was a classic case of ethnic cleansing. After the Sumgait and Baku massacres of Armenia’s in the early late 1980s and early 1990s, the Armenia’s were forced to fight to defend their families and their lives, he explained.

The author went over the battles of Shoushi, Lachin, Shahumian, Khojalou and other important battles, internal turmoil in Azerbaijan, and other political, economic, and military factors which decided the outcome of the war and the current status of the region.

In regard to the Khojalou incident, Gore said “Azeri troops ran faster than the Meskhetian Turk civilians that they had been using as human’shields.” Upon their retreat to Agdam, civilians of Khojalou were fired upon by the Azeri OMON garrison of Agdam, mistaking them for Armenian forces. He said that a day before the start of Khojalou battle, the Azeri forces executed 32 Armenian prisoners of war.

Regarding the ongoing Azeri government threats of resumption of war to take Nagorno-Karabagh, Gore said that “peace is for the benefit of both sides.”

Gore said that although it is true that the Azeri government is getting emboldened with its new-found oil wealth, Aliev government has to “consider that their oil and gas pipelines run 30 km north of Nagorno-Karabagh, and Azeris have invested heavily in their Baku facilities.”

He questioned whether Azeris want to jeopardize their vital pipelines and “risk their money sources.”

Gore also commented on Turkish government political and military support to Azerbaijan, the use of mercenaries by the Azeri government, the Minsk Group mediation, and other matters related to the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict.

The timely publication of the objective and probing book is of vital importance for the comprehension of the situation in the region and to everyone interested in the future of the Caucasus.

The solution of the conflict is of vital importance because the war was fought in the bottleneck between Russia and Iran, through which Central Asian and Caspian oil and natural gas pipelines run, and through which U.S. and allied air traffic to and from Afghanistan and Pakistan must pass.

The author of the 139-page book is a Canadian specialist in military history and theory. He studied at Oxford, and subsequently graduated from the National Defence College at Kingston, one of NATO’s senior command colleges. Much of his career has focused on strategic intelligence. This is his eleventh book. He used to be paratrooper and marine commando.

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