By Vafa Ismayilova
September 27 marks the first anniversary of the outbreak of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2020.
On this day, Azerbaijan will commemorate all servicemen, who were martyred in the 44-day Second Karabakh War with Armenia that broke out in 2020.
Starting 2021, this day will be marked annually as Remembrance Day under President Ilham Aliyev's relevant decree signed on December 2, 2020.
In July, the Defence Ministry reported that 2,907 soldiers, who were martyred in the 44-day war, have been buried by July 14.
Aliyev will address the nation on Remembrance Day at 1000 (GMT +4) on September 27.
On Remembrance Day in the country's religious temples – mosques, churches and synagogues – bright memory will be honored and prayers will be read for the repose of the souls of the sons of the Motherland who gave their lives for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
The martyrs will be commemorated with a minute of silence across Azerbaijan at 1200 on September 27.
Back to one-year history
The war resumed between the two neighboring countries after Armenian troops deployed in the occupied lands of Azerbaijan started to shell the latter’s military positions and civilian settlements.
In the early hours of September 27, Azerbaijan’s President and Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev officially confirmed that the country launched an offensive in response to Armenia’s armed provocations.
The clashes started along the line of contact, which had been established in the aftermath of the First Karabakh War (1988-94).
Three ceasefires brokered by Russia, France, and the United States failed to stop the ongoing fighting that erupted on September 27.
Usually, people are afraid of war. However, this was the exact opposite for Azerbaijanis during the war with Armenia.
The nation’s deep sense of patriotism, its strong desire to liberate the occupied lands and avenge losses in the First Karabakh War, absolute trust and confidence in the president and state, national solidarity, and a total lack of fear stipulated the country’s outstanding victory in the war unleashed by Armenia.
Thanks to the abovementioned, the fortifications reinforced by the enemy for about 30 years, were destroyed, and the myth of the invincible Armenian army was dispelled. Fighting in difficult mountainous terrain and in unfavorable weather conditions, our soldiers, showed unparalleled determination and heroism, always moved forward and never retreated.
The courage and bravery of Azerbaijanis, who experienced the horrors of the First Karabakh War, gave a new breath to world war history. All the above-mentioned factors surprised the world, which is still discussing the 44-day war.
After the war, Aliyev repeatedly stressed the importance of Azerbaijani servicemen's patriotism, saying that "every day was a victory day" for the national army for six weeks of fierce fighting.
“During the 44-day war, we did not take a single step back," he said.
Earlier, he described the clashes as the Azerbaijani nation's "Patriotic War" and stressed that "we are liberating the homeland from occupiers, restoring historical justice on the battlefield”.
Before the hostilities, Azerbaijan used all opportunities of diplomatic channels to avoid war and liberate its lands through talks.
Aliyev repeatedly urged the international community to concentrate on the need to force Armenia to fulfill four UN Security Council resolutions on the liberation of occupied Azerbaijani lands.
However, against the background of all these calls and other diplomatic efforts, Azerbaijan warned if peace talks with Armenia yield no results, it will liberate the occupied lands by other means.
The 44-day war made it clear that this was not just a statement. The Azerbaijani leader had to address this very important task, which the OSCE Minsk Group and other international organizations ignored.
Aliyev resolutely defended the national interests of his people under the UN Charter’s Article 51 empowered Azerbaijan to defend its own territory.
Glorious page in Azerbaijani history
In 44 days, the glorious Azerbaijani army under Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev’s strong leadership liberated the homeland from Armenia’s long-term occupation. The Patriotic War went down as a glorious page into Azerbaijan’s history
The trilateral peace deal signed by the Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian leaders on November 10, 2020, ended the three-decade conflict between Baku and Yerevan over Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region that along with the seven adjacent regions came under the occupation of Armenian armed forces in the war in the early 1990s.
On January 11, 2021, the three leaders signed the second statement since the end of the 44-day war. The newly-signed statement is set to unblock all regional economic and transport communications.
As a reliable partner and a country pursuing an independent foreign policy in the region and the world, Azerbaijan continues to take great steps to revive its territories razed to the ground by Armenian vandals over three decades.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict broke out after the rise of anti-Azerbaijan sentiments in Armenia in 1988 due to Yerevan's illegal claims to Azerbaijan's internationally recognized Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Following the Soviet Union’s dissolution in 1991, Armenia waged a total war against Azerbaijan through armed attacks on the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The war lasted until a ceasefire in 1994. Some 30,000 Azerbaijanis are reported to be killed in the first Karabakh war.
Armenia's forces displaced one million throughout the hostilities, while forcibly occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territories – the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
For nearly three decades, Armenia failed to implement the UN Security Council resolutions (822, 853, 874 and 884) demanding the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of its troops, which was the main obstacle to the resolution of the conflict.
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