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Can Azeri-Armenian flare-up grow into big regional conflict?

The Nagorno-Karabagh clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia could evolve into a war of attrition, but none of the regional heavyweights want a conventional war in the region.
Military trucks are seen on the side of a road near the village of Zangakatun in Armenia on September 30, 2020. - Armenia and Azerbaijan rejected international calls for  negotiations and a halt to fighting as fierce clashes over the disputed region of Nagorny Karabakh spilled over into a fourth day on September 30. (Photo by - / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

The fresh flare-up between Azerbaijan and Armenia, which began with mortar and artillery exchanges early Sept. 27 and became full-fledged drone warfare within hours, continued into its fourth day Wednesday. How the conflict will evolve is a crucial question in an energy-rich region where Russia, Turkey and Iran are major stakeholders with competing interests. 

The scene of the clashes — the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh region — has been occupied by Armenia since a war in the 1990s despite being officially recognized as part of Azerbaijan. The clashes have concentrated in Murov Mountain dominating the north of the region and the Fuzuli area near the Iranian border to the south. 

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