Caucasus Reality 13 november — 03:29

Downed Armenian helicopter: Fighting is continuing in Karabakh (Updated) ( Photo,Video)

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Illegal entry of a military helicopter belonging to Armenia into the airspace of Azerbaijan is a continuation of the occupation and Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan, as well as the policy of violence against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan, says statement of the Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan.

‘Azerbaijan has declared the airspace over the occupied territories a no-fly zone and in the prescribed manner notified all members of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO),’ says the statement.

‘The main cause of tension is presence of the Armenian armed forces in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Therefore, as has been repeatedly stated by Azerbaijan, responsibility for the aggravation of the situation lies entirely with Armenia. To resolve the issue peacefully and establish peace and stability in the region the withdrawal of all the Armenian forces from the occupied Azerbaijani territories is needed first of all,’ says the statement. 

*  *  *

At the crash site of the Armenian military helicopter MI-24 intense battle continues, Gazeta.ru reports citing spokesperson of the ‘defence army’ of the so-called ‘Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’ Senor Aseatyan.

‘The battle lasts for more than 8 hours. Armenians are unable to reach the crash site of the downed helicopter, and to retrieve the bodies of three pilots,’ said Asratyan. 

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The Minsk Group Co-Chairs (Ambassadors Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, James Warlick of the United States, and Pierre Andrieu of France) expressed their very serious concern about the downing of a helicopter near the Line of Contact and the recent violence in a statement published at the official website of the OSCE (http://www.osce.org/mg/126630):

‘We regret the loss of life,’ says the statement, ‘and express our condolences to the families.

The Co-Chairs are deeply worried by the events that prompted this drastic incident, the first of its kind since the ceasefire agreement was reached.  We strongly appeal to the sides to avoid steps that would escalate tension along the Line of Contact and Armenia-Azerbaijan border.  The region cannot afford another round of violence like we witnessed this summer.  Today's events remind us of the volatility of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the urgency to intensify efforts to find a lasting settlement. We remain resolved to assist the sides in any way possible. 

We remind the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan of their responsibilities to respect the ceasefire and honour the commitments they made in Sochi, Newport, and Paris to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict.  We also encourage them to adopt confidence-building measures now that would increase transparency along the Line of Contact and the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, and reduce the likelihood of events like today's incident.’

*   *   * 2:30

Azerbaijani Defence Ministry issued official snapshots of the moment of destruction of Armenian Mi-24 helicopter in the sky over Karabakh. From the photos it is evident that there were two helicopters and one of them managed to escape. 

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Defence Minister Zakir Hasanov awarded squad leader Ilkin Muradov for courage, according to the press service of the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry.

According to the received information it was Ilkin Muradov who downed the Armenian combat helicopter Mi-24.

Ilkin Muradov was awarded the medal 'For Distinguished military service' third class.

It was also reported that Azerbaijani soldier opened fire on two helicopters, one of which was shot down, and the second was able to fly away.

*   *   * 1:30

The OSCE is concerned over the crash of MI-24 helicopter in Nagorno Karabakh and believes that such incidents can expand the scope of the crisis, OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

Such catastrophes can lead to a broader crisis in the context of a situation that is increasingly unstable, Zannier said at a hearing in the European Parliament.

*   *   * 17:32

In the downed by Azerbaijani army Armenian helicopter three pilots were killed, News Armenia reports.

According to the information, the helicopter has completely burned.

'This is an unprecedented escalation, and the consequences for the Azerbaijani side will be very painful,' said the Press Secretary of Armenian Defence Ministry Artsrun Hovhannisyan.

*   *   * 17:01

Azerbaijani Defence Ministry issued an official information about the downed Armenian helicopter. As the press service of the Defence Ministry told Azeri Daily, during the last three days Armenian air force has been carrying out provocative flights along the front line.

However, today the Armenian air force, performing combat manoeuvres, attempted to attack Azerbaijani positions.

Today at 13:45 1700 metres in a north easterly direction from the Kengerli village of Aghdam region combat helicopter Mi-24 of the Armenian Armed Forces took the combat course and attacked Azerbaijani positions.

As a result of retaliatory fire helicopter was destroyed. The wreckage of the helicopter crashed 500 metres from the front line.

*   *   * 16:26

Armenian side confirmed the information that Azerbaijani Army shot down a combat helicopter belonging to the so-called ‘army of defence of Karabakh.’

As reported by ‘News Armenia’ at 13:45 Azerbaijani Airdefence shot down Mi-24 helicopter.

*   *   * 16:10

Azerbaijani armed forces shot down an Armenian combat helicopter that crossed the front line, Qafqazinfo reported.

According to the information, the helicopter fell on the territory controlled by the Azerbaijani army, and caught fire.

This fact has been confirmed by the Defence Ministry of Azerbaijan.

It should be mentioned that Armenia is conducting at the moment large-scale military exercises in Karabakh. It is possible that the downed helicopter took part in these exercises.

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