TODAY.AZ / Politics

25 years without Lachin

18 May 2017 [11:00] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews


By Rashid Shirinov

May 18 marks the 25th anniversary of the occupation of Lachin region, beautiful and essential part of Azerbaijan, by Armenian armed forces.

Mountainous Lachin, located in the southwest of Azerbaijan, was seized by the Armenian forces in 1992. The region is located between Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region and Armenia, and the only road from the occupant country to Nagorno-Karabakh passed through the center of Lachin.

After occupying Shusha, the pearl of Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenian armed forces seized settlements around Lachin and started intensive firing of the center of the region. Launching their invasion on the night of May 16 from a place called Turshsu in the occupied Shusha and the Gor region of Armenia, the enemy occupied Lachin. Most of the Armenian armed forces managed to invade the region through the Lachin corridor.

As a result of the Armenian attack, more than 300 Azerbaijani military men and civilians were killed or went missing; 103 people were wounded or disabled. Armenian invaders did not spare even children – 18 Azerbaijani children were killed, 225 were injured and 31 lost both of their parents.

As many as 63,341 Azerbaijani citizens were expelled from their homes in Lachin as a result of the occupation.

The seizure of Lachin,a region of geo-strategic significance for Azerbaijan, dealt a serious blow to the economy of the country –  roughly $7 billion.

Armenian invaders destroyed hundreds of cultural objects, settlements, villages and historical monuments. Moreover, the enemy destroyed industrial enterprises and agricultural fields of the region.

As many as 8,950 buildings, 7 industrial and construction enterprises, 471 service facilities, 154 schools and many cultural and historical monuments of Lachin remain under occupation until today.

The region was rich in minerals, construction materials, gold, mountain crystal, silk, granite, mercury, limestone, harsh stone, traver­tine, mineral water, and healing herbs. There were rare mahogany trees, cobalt, uranium, iron, and marble of different colors. As many as 34,877 hectares of Lachin’s territory were covered with rare mahogany trees included in the Red Book. However, Armenians plundered all these natural resources of the region after the invasion.

A quarter-century has passed since the occupation of Lachin, but Azerbaijanis still wait for the return to their homeland. Regrettably, their desire remains unnoticed by the world community – Armenia keeps ignoring four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions.

Azerbaijan tries to resolve the conflict as soon as possible, while the aggressor Armenia does the opposite by making every effort to preserve the status quo in Nagorno-Karabakh. Currently, 20 percent of the Azerbaijani territories remain under Armenian occupation and over 1 million of refugees and IDPs have to live far away from their homes in hope of returning there someday.

URL: http://www.today.az/news/politics/161365.html

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