Newly-found human remains attest to Armenian atrocities in Karabakh [PHOTO]
By Vugar Khalilov
Several more body remains from the first Karabakh conflict (the 1990s) were unearthed during excavations in three areas around Farrukh village in Azerbaijan's Khojaly region, Trend reported on March 30.
The previous remains were discovered on March 29 during earthwork carried out by Azerbaijani servicemen in the village.
Military expert Adalat Verdiyev said that the discovery of human remains in Khojaly's Farrukh village once again demonstrates Armenia's anti-Azerbaijan atrocities.
“The remains found in Farrukh village may belong to our citizens who died during the genocide committed by Armenian armed forces in Khojaly [city], or in the battles for the village. We’ll know about this for sure only after the DNA examination,” Verdiyev underlined.
The expert stressed that almost the entire territory of Azerbaijan's Karabakh is covered with the blood of both Azerbaijani civilians and servicemen killed by Armenian armed forces in the early1990s.
Human remains were discovered several times during engineering and construction work on Azerbaijani territory recovered from Armenian occupation as a result of the 44-day war in 2020, he added.
"As the construction work in our liberated territories continues, such mass graves will be revealed. Despite the fact that 30 years have passed, thousands of our citizens will be able to learn about the fate of their relatives who went missing," Verdiyev said.
Along with Khojaly’s Farrukh village, a mass grave was also found in Khojavand region’s Edilli village, he said.
“One of the reasons why Armenians stubbornly refuse to leave the lands of Karabakh is the likelihood of finding the remains of most of the 4,000 Azerbaijanis who died during the first Karabakh war,” Verdiyev underlined.
The policy of ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity carried out by Armenian armed forces against Azerbaijanis in the First Karabakh War is well known.
The Karabakh region bears the scars of these atrocities. Eyewitness testimony and research in Azerbaijani-controlled areas of the region have shown the presence of mass graves in the former Nagorno-Karabakh territory, proving such crimes.
Moreover, the Azerbaijani State Commission on Prisoners of War, Hostages and Missing Persons said that they were aware of the killing and burial of Azerbaijanis in mass graves during the First Karabakh War (1988-1994).
Azerbaijan frequently brings the fate of missing Azerbaijanis and the issue of mass graves in Karabakh to the attention of the international community. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has regularly discussed the problem of mass graves at the international level.
Humanitarian issues were one of the main topics of a virtual meeting attended by French President Emanuel Macron, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, European Council President Charles Michel and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on February 4.
At the meeting, Aliyev underlined that Armenia had to provide information about the mass graves of 3,890 missing Azerbaijani citizens (including 71 children, 267 women and 326 elderly people). The presidents of France and the European Council both supported this issue.
Armenia, which is responsible for determining the fate of about 4,000 missing Azerbaijani citizens, promised to cooperate in this matter.
However, later Yerevan broke its promise, remaining true to its usual rhetoric. Thus, Armenia has grossly violated the Geneva Convention of 1949 and relevant international legal norms. On the contrary, after the 44-day war, Azerbaijan handed over the remains of more than 1,700 Armenians to Armenia.
The reasons for Yerevan's refusal to hand over the coordinates of mass graves to Azerbaijan are also known.
Firstly, Armenia's political reputation in the international arena will be severely damaged. Secondly, no one will believe the propaganda carried out by the Armenian Diaspora for many years about victimization of Armenians. Finally, along with the location of mass graves, Yerevan must ensure that the perpetrators of these crimes are brought to justice. This will force Pashinyan to hand over to Azerbaijan terrorists who continue to be active in the Armenian political arena.
Despite the fact that almost two months have passed since Armenia's commitment, Yerevan has not yet taken practical steps in this direction.
However, experience drawn from previous similar cases shows that Armenia does not even comply with the provisions of the documents it signed.
Azerbaijan has seen the fulfillment of the promises made by Armenia regarding the mine maps. Because of Yerevan's attitude, it's quite improbable that the commitments made concerning mass graves would be kept willingly. This is one of the factors that has had a significant impact on the peace process between the two countries.
Baku, on the other hand, continues to keep the issue in the spotlight at the highest international level. This suggests that Yerevan sooner or later will be compelled to honor its pledge.
It should be noted that over 4,000 Azerbaijanis went missing as a result of the First Karabakh War. It is believed that the vast majority of them were systematically killed and buried in mass graves.