By Derek Scancarelli | Forbes
Three weeks ago, a firefight erupted between Azerbaijani and Armenian soldiers in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, marking the greatest violence the region has seen in 26 years. The fighting escalated quickly as Azerbaijan, with the help of ally Turkey, pummeled Armenians with drone strikes as the people of Nagorno-Karabakh retaliated with counter-fire.
Over the weekend, the newest in a series of failed ceasefires was broken within minutes, as both sides blamed the other for reigniting a conflict which has claimed hundreds of lives.
More than a century after the Ottoman Empire’s Armenian Genocide took 1.5 million lives, natives of Nagorno-Karabakh—also known as the Republic of Artsakh— and the diaspora of Armenians worldwide are overwhelmed and fearful.
For Armenian-American Serj Tankian, the Grammy-winning vocalist from heavy metal outfit System of a Down, the battle has been especially taxing. Tankian, whose grandparents were survivors of the genocide, moved from Lebanon to America when he was just a child. For his entire life, the frontman has been a political advocate for Armenia by pushing for democracy, freedom and peace in the historically war-torn country.