Rock band System Of A Down on Thursday issued a statement pleading for U.S. intervention in the military conflict between Azerbaijan and the independent nation of Armenia over the autonomous region Artsakh—which is a cultural homeland for the band.
The statement is a direct response to a military assault by forces in Azerbaijan on the two other entities that began on Sept. 27. Artsakh is considered a breakaway state because it’s officially a part of Azerbaijan, though it’s populated primarily by ethnic Armenians who have called the region home for centuries. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan were part of the former Soviet Union in 1988.
In it’s statement, System Of A Down called the current political conflict an attempted genocide, and compared it to the Armenian Genocide in 1915, ethnic cleansing pogroms of the 1980s and ’90s, and the Azerbaijan invasion of Armenia in 2016.
“Now the world is turning a blind eye to 150,000 landlocked civilians under attack by Azerbaijan and Turkey,” the band wrote on its social media pages. “SOAD has always stood for justice and peace. This notion comes from the suffering and injustice done to our people over centuries. [Turkey ruler Recep] Erdogan’s denialist Turkey is continuing the work of its genocidal ancestors, and allied with petro-corrupt Azerbaijan, are firing American-made F-16 missiles into Artsakh and parts of Armenia, killing soldiers as well as civilians. The world seems too busy with COVID and politics to care, but we HAVE to do something as this is an existential threat for our people and the first Christian Nation.”
Artsakh has been independent from Azerbaijan since the 1990s after several years of conflict. Armenia has defended the region since. A cease-fire was enacted in 1994 but there have been numerous skirmishes along the boarder since.
The band said Turkey and Erdogan has aided the leader of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, in “attacking with impunity.”
All four members of System Of A Down are of Armenian heritage, and have continued to speak out on the Armenian Genocide during World War I. About 1.5 million ethnic Armenians were murdered by the Ottoman Empire government (now Turkey) between 1914 and 1923. The band’s management released an additional statement: “To the band members and other Armenians all around the world, the war being waged on the people of Artsakh now is a continuation of the Armenian Genocide as the Turkic Azeris along with the support of Recep Erdogan’s Turkey are trying to eradicate the Armenians of Artsakh and claim these lands for themselves.”
The band is asking people to support Armenians by donating to the following causes and signing the following petitions:
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The world turned a blind eye during: · the Armenian Genocide in 1915 · the mass killings and pogroms of the 1980s and 90s · Azerbaijan’s invasion of Armenia in 2016 Now the world is turning a blind eye to 150,000 landlocked civilians under attack by Azerbaijan and Turkey. SOAD has always stood for justice and peace. This is rooted in the suffering and injustice done to our people over centuries. Erdogan’s denialist Turkey is continuing the work of its genocidal ancestors, and allied with petrol-corrupt Azerbaijan, by firing F-16 missiles into Artsakh and parts of Armenia killing civilians, including women and children. The world seems too busy with Covid and politics to care, but we HAVE to do something to halt the existential threat to our people and to the first Christian Nation. Resources and how to help in our bio link. #ArtsakhStrong