The Armenian Separatist Front (Հայերեն Անջատողական Խումբ: Hayeren Anjatoghakan Khumb) was a separatist organization based in Armenia. Since the Great War, Armenia had been part of the Holy Sultanate of Turkey as an outlying region. Their ultimate goal was to liberate Greater Armenia from the Turkish and establish an independent republic under a series of liberal and populist ideals based on their traditional ethnic, religious, and language boundaries. The ASF was founded in early February 1977 to combat the unpopular occupation of Turkish forces in the Armenian Highlands. The group used the historical acts of killings and discrimination against the Armenians as a justification for their rebellion. Leaders of the ASF claimed legitimacy by being the continuation of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, a popular separatist group that was forcibly disbanded in 1944. The ASF aspired to prosper and protect their people from further foreign invasion, and create a well-defended fatherland for the Armenian people. It was this nationalistic goal (and sustaining thereof) that drove the ASF's engine, as well as that of the interim government politics.
The Armenian Separatist Front was founded in January 1977 by Mikael Serovian (known by his aliases as "The Fox" (nom de guerre) or "Joseph Yossarian"), a disgruntled Armenian who had been ruined financially by Turkish policies. As a history major, he learned about the Turkish attempts to pacify the Armenian people since the Middle Ages. The Turkish have had a history of discriminating against, killing, and abusing the ethnic peoples of the Armenian Highlands, and Serovian planned to stop it. He brought together a group of around thirty members in Nor Yerznka and the group slowly grew from there.
And on 28th January, 1977, the ASF launched an attack on a Turkish convoy outside of Artashat, commencing the short but intense end phases of the Armenian War . The highly publicized attack brought on government punishment for the rebels, and ended up launching an attack on their headquarters, and a further bombing of a nearby hospital treating the wounded. The rebels relocated to Hadrut, following the massacre, and rebuilt from there. For the next month, the Armenian headquarters ran quietly while independent splinter cells fought multiple simultanious conflicts against the Turkish occupiers.
In mid-March, the Hadrut base was fully operational and working on establishing a clandestine radio network that allowed any ASF command to relay information across the country via other cities' bases (like the game telepohone, only they didn't mess up the messages.) This gave the ASF the ability to coordinate their strikes, which is widely believed to be one of the reasons the war was won so quickly. During this time, a man named Hasmik Assanian took formal control of the ASF and became the operational leader. His former military experience and tactical genius contributed immensly to the war effort as well.
Over the next few months, the Armenians quickly eroded away Turkish support in the region. Virtually no Armenians were willing to support the government, with an approval rate of only 6% for the governor of the territory. Battles were won in the east, and the Nagorno-Karabakh became a stable region where Armenians could resupply and regroup. The Turkish influence was dwindling quickly, especially in the fringe regions of Nakhchivan, Javakhk, and Artsakh.
The most influential battle of the Armenian War was the Battle of Artashat, where a group of four thousand Armenians fended off a hugely superior Turkish force for a time period of around a month. The intense urban warfare showed the Turkish that they weren't as strong as they used to be, and that they were losing the war. The surrender of Turkish forces in June was one of the prime reasons the Sultan considered giving independence to the Armenians, coupled with the threat of war with Persia, and actual wars against Greece and Poland. During this time, an ecological disaster wracked Turkey, and a large section of their Mediterranean forests were destroyed by a fire intentionally (and secretly) started by ASF rebels to draw manpower away from the region.
The ASF's war of attrition quickly brought the already weakened Ottoman government to its knees. Combined with threats of Polish intervention, a quick and bloodless turnover was announced as the rebels moved forward and into a deserted Yerevan. With the rebels firmly in the capital and the Ottoman army in a disorganized retreat, Armenia was grudgingly granted independence after the Hague Accords. Thus, the ASF dissolved to make way for the Republic of Armenia.
StrengthEditThe ASF grew to become a respectably sized militiant group since its inception in February 1977. With defecting Army conscripts, as well as some Navy PT boats, the Armenians have access to many pieces of military materiel. As of June 1977, the current force was estimated to be comprised of almost a half million active fighters,noncombatants, or sympathisers. The training, motivation, armament, and knowledge of these rebels varied wildly: military officers formed the leadership backbone, while ranchers and farmers were a common sight alongside naive university students. While almost all of the Armenian populace supported the ASF, membership was rare amongst people for fear of execution or imprisonment. After the war, many of these ASF members disbanded to head back to their regular lives, while the remainder formed the central core of the ADF.
While the Armenian armory was spread out around the country and constantly shifting due to pillaging of Turkish supplies and capture from Turkish authorities, the ASF was known to possess advanced military hardware including assault rifles, battle rifles, rocket launchers, tanks, machine guns, artillery pieces, and armored personnel vehicles. The ASF was a heavy user of technicals, and other improvised weaponry like rocket tubes and slingshots were common sights in some of the more remote areas. IEDs were an additionally common sight along heavily trafficked roads, stemming from the ASF's guerrilla warfare tactics. These homemade bombs often contained flammible liquid to harshen the effect, and an astounding 48% of Ottoman casualties came from IED attacks in June 1977.