Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 13
By Ilkin Izzet - Trend:
The Mi-24 combat helicopter, which was downed while shelling the Azerbaijani troops' positions in Azerbaijan's Aghdam district, belonged to the Armenian air forces, the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan said Nov. 13.
The ministry said the downed helicopter was assigned to the 15th helicopter base, stationed at the Erebuni military airfield of the Armenian armed forces near the city of Yerevan.
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry also said the Armenian side claims that allegedly "the soldiers of Nagorno-Karabakh" were killed onboard the helicopter, while all three crew members were the officers of the Armenian air forces.
The crew commander, Major Sergei Sahakyan, born in Yerevan, served at the military unit No. 32822 of the 15th helicopter base, and was an officer of the Armenian air forces, according to the ministry.
Senior Lieutenant Sarkis Nazaryan graduated from the Military Aviation School, and served as the combat helicopter crew member at the Armenian air forces.
The third crew member, Lieutenant Azat Sahakyan, born in Yerevan, served in the air force of Armenia, and was a military pilot.
The ministry said the helicopter conducting flights as part of the military aircraft participating in the drills, which, contrary to international law, are held in Azerbaijan's territories occupied by Armenia, was downed when it was shelling the Azerbaijani positions in a provocative way.
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry once again officially declares that in accordance with international law and decisions of the International Civil Aviation Organization, all uncoordinated flights in the Nagorno-Karabakh will be considered as a violation of air borders of Azerbaijan, and in case of repetition of such incidents the Azerbaijani air forces, which have the most modern weapons, will destroy such targets without a delay.
On Nov. 12, at 13:45 (UTC/GMT +4 hours) an Armenian Mi-24 helicopter flying 1700 meters northeast of the Kengerli village of Azerbaijan's Aghdam district attacked the Azerbaijani army positions.
The helicopter was shot down by the Azerbaijani side.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan.
As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994.
The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Edited by CN