The feature is by David Davidian and is required reading on this most vital of all current politico-military developments. Excerpts from the article are provided below.
The analysis is informed, timely and alarming. The Baku Declaration/Three Brothers military axis of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Pakistan (with Qatar as the unacknowledged step-brother Smerdyakov for those who have read the Brothers Karamazov) is a threat to Iran as well as Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia. It is no less a threat to India (through Kashmir), Persian-speaking Tajikistan, Cyprus and Greece. The Turkish-Pakistani Anatolian Eagle – 2021 air combat exercises held in Turkey in July included Azerbaijan providing MiG’s and Sukhois and Qatar supplying Rafales for Azerbaijan and Turkey to practice against. Sukhois and MiGs are used by the Armenian and the Indian air forces. Greece has recently acquired and India will soon acquire French Rafales. NATO provided AWACS for the above exercise.
Most issues between Baku and Tehran are handled diplomatically, such as Azerbaijani soldiers harassing Iranian truck drivers as they drive north into Armenia using disputed highways. In contrast, there appears to be pressure building on Iran in the form of a so-called “Brotherhood” between Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan. This fraternal union is nothing new since the Turkish military generally ran Azerbaijan’s war against Nagorno-Karabakh’s Armenians; Pakistani soldiers were involved in the fighting, as were Jihadist fighters imported by Turkey from Syria and Libya via Georgian airspace into Azerbaijan. Turkey and Azerbaijan have held several military maneuvers in the region in the past six months, flexing their newly joined muscles.
Perhaps what is new is the construction of a state-of-the-art international airport in the small town of Fizuli, captured from Armenians last year, about thirty kilometers from the Iranian border just inside Azerbaijan. The question is why Fizuli and the rush to build a functioning airport in less than a year in an unpopulated and rather barren area?…
In about nine months, an airport project went from conception to completion. The Fizuli airport has a three-kilometer runway, long enough for heavy transport and modern fighter jets. Given the relationship between Azerbaijan and Israel described by Aliev as “like an iceberg, nine-tenths of it is below the surface,” and the nature of the Israeli-Iran enmity, Israel would be grossly remiss if it were not to complement its monitoring of Iran and enhance covert activity targeting Iran from these conquered lands.
Perhaps Fizuli will serve as a NATO-friendly hub on the Iranian border.