Armenian Fighter Plane Shot Down by Turkish F-16, Tu …


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A Russian-made Armenian SU-25 fighter plane was shot down by a Turkish F-16 over Armenian territory on Tuesday. That says the Armenian Ministry of Defense in a short statement on Tuesday afternoon. This is feared to mean a further escalation in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. Turkey has already denied that it shot down an Armenian plane. “That is absolutely untrue,” said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spokesman.

“A Turkish F-16 took off from a base in Azerbaijan at 10:30 am, which led to a fight between an Armenian SU-25 and the Turkish F-16,” the Yerevan statement said. “The SU-25 was hit and crashed. The pilot was killed. ” Erdogan’s spokesman asks Armenia to withdraw from the territories it occupies, “instead of resorting to cheap propaganda tricks.”

In Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-majority enclave in Azerbaijan, fierce fighting has been taking place between Armenian separatists and the Azerbaijani army since Sunday. Azerbaijan said it had already retaken seven villages in Nagorno-Karabakh on Sunday. According to military reports, Azerbaijani forces also occupied strategically important heights in the mountain region.

The official death toll on Tuesday is about 114. Among them, 11 civilians are said to have died: 9 in Azerbaijan and 2 on the Armenian side. But the numbers could be much higher, as both camps claim to have killed hundreds of enemy soldiers.

UN emergency session

The conflict between the former Soviet republics has been ongoing for years. The Nagorno-Karabakh region is an enclave in Armenia that was part of the Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan in the Soviet Union. Armenia has long owned the region and the population is predominantly Armenian, but Azerbaijan has wanted the region back for decades. Azerbaijan is receiving support from Turkey in the conflict.

The area split off in 1988, leading to a conflict in 1992-1994 that left 30,000 dead. It has been a fragile file since 1994. The current fighting is the deadliest revival of violence in recent years.

A conflict is feared for destabilization in the South Caucasus, especially if Turkey and Russia intervened. That now seems to have happened, if Turkey did indeed intervene militarily. On Tuesday, the UN Security Council will meet for an emergency session behind closed doors.

READ ALSO. Conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh flares up again: “Azerbaijan declares war on us”

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