Congressman Schiff on Two-Year Anniversary of the Six-Week War in Artsakh
“On September 27, 2020, over the course of six weeks, Azerbaijan and Turkey brutally attacked the people of Artsakh – murdering scores of innocent civilians, displacing tens of thousands more, and creating a mass humanitarian disaster that has devastated countless Armenian families abroad and here in the United States. The war was perpetrated by a bloodthirsty dictator in Baku who chose to answer domestic discontent by making war against a peaceful neighbor.
“Today we mark two years since Aliyev launched his assault – but tragically, his war did not end after that 44-day invasion. Despite an internationally-brokered ceasefire agreement, Azerbaijan’s aggression against the people of Artsakh and Armenia has continued, more than 100 Armenian soldiers remain illegally detained and subject to horrific torture, and thousands of families live in fear of the next attack. And Azerbaijan’s violence again escalated earlier this month, when Azeri forces shelled homes in the villages of Karmir Shuka and Taghavard in Artsakh, and launched an unprovoked assault on sovereign Armenian territory.
“These latest attacks are proof that Azerbaijan will continue to terrorize the people of Artsakh and Armenia until their aims are achieved. Aliyev has nothing but contempt for the international community’s efforts to bring stability to the Caucasus, and he must be stopped. He has been emboldened by the international community’s language of false equivalence in the face of these premeditated attacks on the Armenian people. Until there are real consequences, Aliyev will continue to expand his war, and more innocent lives will be lost.
“The United States must take strong and meaningful action against Azerbaijan. We must permanently cease all assistance to the Aliyev regime, demand the release of all political prisoners, explore sanctions, and seek the prosecution of war crimes, and of crimes against humanity. My colleagues and I will continue to urgently pursue legislation in Congress that achieves those aims, and we will not rest until the United States takes action.
“My heart breaks for the people of Artsakh and Armenia and my Armenian American constituents whose families and loved ones have been lost, displaced, and terrorized since the beginning of Azerbaijan’s war. Today and every day, I will continue to urge action against the Baku regime, until the Armenian people know the peace and freedom they have been deprived of for far too long.”