FT. LAUDERDALE, FL — If you’re planning to soak up the sun on Ft. Lauderdale Beach on Saturday afternoon, the last thing you might think to see up in the sky is a message about terrorism.
But 4 days before the U.S. presidential election, and with a war waging in the remote South Caucasus mountain region of Artsakh, on Saturday, October 31, a banner reading “Stop Turkish Terrorism – Peace for Armenians” will fly over beach-goers from 12:00pm until 2:00pm. The banner will also fly over Miami on Sunday, November 1 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm.
A small group of local Armenian Americans in Ft. Lauderdale organized the fly-over in order to draw attention to the terrorist strikes that have rocked Artsakh and Armenia over the last 5 weeks.
Azerbaijan, with the support of Turkey and ISIS mercenaries from Syria, have launched a full scale war against the democratic nations of Artsakh (formerly Nagorno-Karabakh Republic), and Armenia, the oldest Christian state on Earth.
European, Russian, and American mediation efforts have produced two cease-fire agreements, both broken by Azerbaijan who launched attacks just hours later.
International governments and observers have confirmed the use of terrorist mercenaries from Syria, smuggled by Turkey into Azerbaijan, the use of banned cluster munitions by Azerbaijan against the civilian population of Stepanakert (the capital of Artsakh), as well as the use chemical weapons by Azerbaijan.
The purpose of the Ft. Lauderdale Beach and Miami fly-over is to raise public awareness of the gross international human rights and war crimes violations of Azerbaijan and Turkey and to call for an end of U.S. military aid to both countries, which receive hundreds of millions of dollars from U.S. tax payers every years.
MIAMI, FL – Earlier this month, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Boynton Beach Mayor Steven Grant joined Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and other mayors from across the United States in signing a bi-partisan letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling on the U.S. to recognize the free and democratic Republic of Artsakh (formerly Nagorno-Karabakh Republic), and to condemn Azerbaijan military attacks on Artsakh and Armenia.
“As proud representatives of Armenian American communities across our country, we share their deep concerns about the violence being inflicted upon Artsakh, the growing number of civilian casualties, and the involvement of regional actors like Turkey and Iran,” the October 9, 2020 letter states. The mayors raised the “credible reports of Turkey paying Syrian mercenaries to fight in Artsakh as well as American-made F-16s sold to Turkey flying in Armenian airspace,” with the Secretary.
The letter also calls on the Secretary of State to “publicly support H.Res.1165, a bipartisan resolution introduced by Reps. Jackie Speier, Adam Schiff, and the Congressional Armenian Caucus that condemns Azerbaijan’s attack on Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) and denounces Turkey’s participation and escalation of this offensive.”
The letter is significant for three reasons. 1) The letter clearly refers to Nagorno-Karabakh by its proper Armenian name, Artsakh, on two occasions, hence the signatories recognize the Armenian state’s existence which Azerbaijan denies. 2) The signatories to the letter condemn Azerbaijan for launching another war in the South Caucasus and denounce Turkey’s role in the latest provocation, an important step as some try to draw a false equivalency between Azerbaijan (the attacker) and Armenia. 3) The mayors also acknowledge the historical fact of the Armenian Genocide, the first time that a Miami mayor has ever done so. Boynton Beach first acknowledged the Armenian Genocide back in 2017.
“It was wonderful to work with Armenian American community leaders in South Florida and across the country over the last few weeks to help bring local governments forward to stand with the people of Artsakh and Armenia as they defend their ancestral homeland from Azerbaijani and Turkish terrorism,” stated FLArmenians.com Editor Taniel Koushakjian. “Thank you Mayor Suarez and Mayor Grant for your local leadership here in South Florida,” Koushakjian said.
A copy of the letter is below.