AIR Center prepares report on Armenia’s use of mercenaries, foreign fighters against Azerbaijan

The Baku-based Center of Analysis of International Relations (AIR Center) has prepared a report on the use of mercenaries and foreign fighters by Armenia against Azerbaijan throughout the Second Karabakh War (from September 27 to November 9, 2020).

The report contains information about the involvement of foreign fighters, including mercenaries, on the side of Armenia during the military operations conducted within the internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan. It first provides an assessment of the legal framework governing such actions, including the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries, which the National Assembly of Armenia has recently ratified.

“The issue of the Armenian side deploying foreign fighters is, unfortunately, not new. During the First Nagorno-Karabakh War (1988–94), soldiers of both Armenian and non-Armenian descent actively fought and committed war crimes, including the 1992 Khojaly Genocide, in the Karabakh region. A prominent example is the California-born international terrorist Monte Melkonian, imprisoned in France for acts of terror in the 1980s, who was involved in military operations against Azerbaijani civilians in Karadagly, Khojaly, and other settlements in

Azerbaijan. A book published by his brother Markar Melkonian and titled My Brother’s Road confirms some of these acts: “Monte had arrived in Martuni twenty-two days earlier, and since then he had staggered across two killing fields soaked with the fresh blood of captives and unarmed peasants [meaning in Karadagly and Khojaly],” states one excerpt from the book.

In 1996, Melkonian, a member of the terrorist organization ASALA and a war criminal, was elevated to the status of a national hero in Armenia,” it reads.

Read the full report here.


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