Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.7
The Khojaly tragedy is the first worst war crime in Europe since World War II, according to the article published in The Middletown Press.
The author urges the US to recognize the Khojaly tragedy, which took the lives of over 600 people, including over 100 women and over 60 children.
Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Associated Press, and others confirmed the fact that the Armenian forces were responsible for this tragedy, said the article.
"Armenian field commander, Monte Melkonyan, provided a shocking witness account of the Khojaly 'killing fields' in his diary," said the author.
"Additionally, Armenia's incumbent president, Serzh Sargsyan, admitted that his forces acted in revenge to 'break the stereotype' of Azerbaijanis, "said the article. "Yet, the Armenian government and the Armenian special interest groups continue to deny these facts."
"As the US mediates a peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, our recognition of its largest atrocity is a key to healing and reconciliation," said the author.
In recent years, the states of Massachusetts, Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, West Virginia, Florida and Connecticut recognized the Khojaly tragedy, according to the article.
"I request that our elected officials once more recognize the victims of this horrific act of ethnic cleansing ahead of its anniversary," said the author.
The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Armenian armed forces, together with the 366th infantry regiment of Soviet troops stationed in Khankendi committed an act of genocide against the population of the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly on February 25-26, 1992.
As a result of the massacre, some 613 people were killed, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 old people. Eight families were totally exterminated, 130 children lost one parent and 25 children lost both. A total of 487 civilians became disabled as a result of the onslaught. Some 1,275 innocent residents were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 people remains unknown.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
The Middletown Press: US should recognize Khojaly genocide
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.7