Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan admits to shooting down Russian gunship, 2 killed

The Azerbaijan Foreign Ministry has announced a colossal mistake. A Russian Mi-24 attack helicopter was shot down by over Armenia by Azeri forces. Although, they insist it was an accident. The gunship crashed in Armenia near the town of Yeraskh.

Officials also offered condolences to the families of the 2 Russian crew members killed. A third crew member was wounded, but no conclusive update has been given about their location or condition. After the incident was reported, Azerbaijan quickly offered to pay compensation to the two crew members killed. Russia occupies a large military base in Armenia, but the helicopter’s mission that day is unclear.

A Russian Defense Ministry report states, “On November 9 at about 17.30 Moscow time, while escorting a convoy of the 102nd Russian military base through the territory of the Republic of Armenia in the airspace near the Armenian settlement of Yeraskh near the border of the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic (Republic of Azerbaijan), the Russian Mi-24 helicopter was subjected to fire from the ground from MANPADS.”

The message added, “As a result of the missile hit, the helicopter lost control and fell in a mountainous area on the territory of Armenia.”

Russian officials claim their investigation will continue.

Azerbaijan
Basic map of the Nagorno-Karabakh War

Backstory

Azerbaijan, located in the Caucasus Mountains, has been been in a bloody clash with Armenia. The original “Nagorno-Karabakh conflict” began in 1988. After a few years of guerrilla war, it turned into a full scale conflict in 1992. This subsequently lasted 2 brutal years. By 1994, Armenia had gained control of much of the disputed territory. The two countries signed a cease-fire, and entered a Cold War, until 2020. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what rekindled the hostilities. Although, it is centered around the breakaway state of Artsakh. The Republic of Artsakh is not formally recognized by the United Nations, but is backed by Armenia. The confusing political status had left room for ambitious positioning of armed forces. Furthermore,

Many believe Turkey is backing Azerbaijan to counter Russian influence over the region. Likewise, Turkish backed Syrian mercenaries have allegedly been employed to fight in the conflict.

Disputed claims 

However, international human rights groups have criticized both countries for alleged war crimes. Video footage has surfaced, fueling these claims. Consequently, neither government has taken responsibility for these videos. In fact, Azerbaijan even has called them fake.

Unfortunately, there has not been a lot of non bias coverage in the area. Thus, it is difficult to say exactly what has been going on there. The Pentagon has not said much on the subject either. Although, they recently condemned Turkey over reports that it had tested a Russian-made air defense system.

The current conflict has lasted over 6 weeks and has ravaged the region. Civilian casualties have continued to rise with some reports citing over 50 killed, and hundreds wounded. Several towns in the region have came under heavy bombing and shelling. As the death tolls rise, calls for peace remain ignored. Both forces continue to conduct operations. As a result, the fighting continues, with no end in sight.

Know what we're sayin fam?

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