Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said Azerbaijan may be preparing for military aggression against his country as the term "Western Azerbaijan," has become increasingly popular in public discourse in Azerbaijan.
During a Nov. 18 speech at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Yerevan, Pashinyan claimed Azerbaijan media, schools, and universities had started calling Armenia this way, warning the rhetoric could signal Baku's desire to start an offensive military operation.
United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned a select group of lawmakers that Azerbaijan might be planning to invade Armenia in the coming weeks, Politico reported on Oct. 13.
Officials familiar with the discussion told Politico that Blinken spoke about the possibility of an invasion in a conference call on Oct. 3.
The call addressed officials' questions about the U.S. response to Azerbaijan's September offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh.
During the call, Blinken reportedly told lawmakers that the State Department will not renew an established agreement that permits the U.S. to offer Azerbaijan military aid. The agreement has been renewed every year since 2002 but lapsed in June.
In the same conversation, Blinken warned that Azerbaijan may invade southern Armenia.
Of particular concern is the southern region of Syunik, which Azerbaijan calls the Zangezur Corridor and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has repeatedly referred to as "Western Azerbaijan."
In mid-September, the Azerbaijani military launched a lightning offensive against the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, an unrecognized Armenian state within the territory of Azerbaijan. Local authorities eventually surrendered in a ceasefire mediated by Russia.
A formal decree was later signed, dissolving all official institutions of the breakaway state from Jan. 1, 2024. Following Azerbaijan's victory, around 100,000 people have left Nagorno-Karabakh for Armenia.