Caucasus is burning!

Dr. Mahfuz Parvez, Associate Editor,
Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

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With peculiar geographical location Caucasus is a region that divides Europe and Asia, with the Black Sea on one side and the Caspian Sea on the other. The Caucasus Mountains are located in the region, with Elbrus being one of the highest peaks in Europe. The Caucasus Mountains as a natural barrier naturally divided the Trans-Caucasus and Anatolia region from Eastern Europe to West Asia.

The two countries, Azerbaijan and Armenia, are at loggerheads over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Caucasus. The regional powers are also indirectly fueling the conflict between the two countries. That being said, the crisis began during the Soviet era, when the area was occupied by the communists.

Turkey is very interested in the Caucasus, because the area was once under their Uthmania or Ottoman Empire. Iran, a close neighbor of the Caucasus, is also not silent.

As a result of the military polarization in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan and Armenia face each other, but the role of Russia, Turkey and Iran is being explored. Russia is helping the Orthodox Christian state of Armenia and Sunni Turkey is helping the Shiite Muslim-majority Azerbaijan. The strange thing is that Shia-Iran is helping Christ Armenia, not Shia-Azerbaijan.

All the neighboring countries have their eyes on the Caucasus, a land of abundant mineral, energy and natural resources. Apart from that, the role of the Caucasus in communication is very important. Not only the connection between East and West, the Caucasus has historically been considered important for traveling to different parts of the world.

But why the diverse military polarization in the geo-politics of the Caucasus? Sunni is helping Shia and Shia supporting Christians? Analysts believe that interests play a more important role than religion or ideology.

Azerbaijan's relations with Turkey are good from the beginning. Sunni Turkey wants another Shiite state against Iran. And Iran does not want a new Shiite power to emerge next to it. Moreover, the ties of interest between Russia and Armenia are very strong. As a result, such a complex polarization has been created in the Caucasus.

Due to the new format, limited fighting in the Caucasus is no longer as limited as in the past. Warring Azerbaijan and Armenia are being helped with weapons, lethal weapons and troops. The reason behind the all-out war in the seemingly calm and natural beauty of the Caucasus lies in the regional military-political polarization, with the footsteps of large-scale protracted wars being heard and various peace initiatives repeatedly failing and killing ordinary people.

It seems that the Caucasus and Central Asia have a repeat to the history that once shook the whole world. The fires of war that the Generals of the region spread in the Middle Ages are now burning in their homes.

Because, history is a colorful silk thread, the thread is pulled around again and again. Like the story of the Arabian Nights, its nature flows from one story to another. Silk, wrapped in the fur of a cocoon, travelled a long way from eastern China to western Rome on the backs of two-humped camels. It came back with glassware, new weapons, new religion and new customs. Soldiers from small towns along the Silk Route changed the face of the world forever in war and barbarism.

At the edge of that Silk Road, the flames of the war in the Caucasus remind us of the return of the bloody chapter of history. It shows the old battlefield lost again in the form of a new battlefield.