LA community, US politicians demand action after Azerbaijan attacks Armenia

The Armenian-American community and supporters are speaking out, demanding action after Azerbaijan launched a military-style attack on Armenia Tuesday. 

The hostilities erupted minutes after midnight, with Azerbaijani forces unleashing an artillery barrage and drone attacks along Armenia's border, according to the Armenian Defense Ministry.

On Tuesday, dozens of people gathered outside the Consulate General of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles protesting, demanding action, and bringing awareness to the issue. 

"Right now Armenia is being aggressed upon, it's being invaded. It's not skirmishes at the border, it's not two-sided. It's a sovereign country being attacked as we speak. The NATO, UN, European of Council of Human Rights are all capable of  sanctioning Azerbaijan. The US is currently funding, sending military tax aid to Azerbaijan. So all of that needs to cease," said protester Areg Parsegian.

RELATED: Armenia says 49 soldiers killed in attacks by Azerbaijan

Tuesday's attack comes nearly two years after Azerbaijan launched a full-scale attack on the Republic of Artsakh ( Nagorno-Karabakh) starting a six-week war that killed more than 6,600 people. The war ended with a Russian-brokered peace deal. But despite the ceasefire, shelling from Azerbaijan has continued. According to the Armenian National Committee of America, Azerbaijani forces routinely terrorize civilians in Armenia, and have set up checkpoints along major transit routes - disrupting international trade, and freedom of movement within Armenia.

What makes the Sept. 13 attack different is that Azerbaijani forces attacked within the borders of Armenia.

"It’s important to note that this is distinct from the conflict within Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). This is now within the borders of Armenian territory, an increased escalation from the Azerbaijani side," said Alex Galitsky, Program Director of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).  

Some protesters say today felt like a Deja Vu of two years ago. 

"Throughout the last two years, every month, there wasn't a month that went by with another solider being killed on the border and I think all of that is a result of the world staying silent. It hurts me that we can stand next to Ukraine; the entire world is standing up for Ukraine but for us Armenians, being such a small country in the Middle East, no body wants to say anything and it's really painful," said protester Kohar Petrosyan. 

"Every Armenian you come across is frustrated, stunned, worried.  If you have Armenian friends or neighbors, know that they are not OK, we are not OK. This is not just Deja Vu of 2020, this also reopens the wounds of 1915. Just seeing the images played out again of people who are being blown up by drones and heavy artillery," stated Glendale Mayor Ardy Kassakhian. 

Los Angeles is home to the largest Armenian population, outside the country itself, with Glendale having the biggest concentration. 

Several US politicians are speaking up, demanding the US take action. Rep. Adam Schiff, who represents Los Angeles' largest Armenian community, called on the US to halt all assistance to Azerbaijan and called the attack "an egregious violation of the ceasefire and direct attack on Armenia’s sovereignty."

US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, issued a statement saying "The United States is deeply concerned about reports of attacks along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, including reported strikes against settlements and civilian infrastructure inside Armenia.  As we have long made clear, there can be no military solution to the conflict.  We urge an end to any military hostilities immediately." 

Rep. Frank Pallone said he strongly condemns Azerbaijan’s "reckless military attack on southern Armenia. Aliyev must end his aggression immediately," the New Jersy congressman said on Twitter. 

ANCA officials say those who want to help can contact their Congress members and ask them to release statements and urge President Biden to uphold Section 907 restrictions and end military assistance to Azerbaijan.