Downed Armenian helicopter consequence of Yerevan’s military-political provocation - ANALYSIS - PHOTOSESSION
An analytical article prepared by APA-Analytics envisages the essence, chronicle of the incident, as well as its compliance with Azerbaijan legislation and international legal norms.
Firs of all, it is noted that after a few hours, the OSCE, NATO, European Union and U.S. Department of State that have for days, even for years no reacted to Armenian provocations on the frontline expressed their “concerns” over the incident and made various statements such as this step will “escalate tension on the front line” and “undermine the negotiation process”.
In fact, the statements of concern were supposed to be made earlier – last week when Armenian armed forces started military exercises in Azerbaijan’s territories.
It would be better for the international organizations, which are urging the sides “to show restraint” and Azerbaijan to turn a blind eye to what is happening in its lands, to probe the factors that caused the incident a few days ago.
Last week the Armenian Army and the separatist regime established in occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan started “Unity-2014” military exercises.
According to the official information released by Armenia, 47,000 personnel, 2100 artillery systems, 850 armored vehicles, 450 units of various air defense systems, 1600 anti-tank weapons, 260 special equipment and 4200 vehicles were involved in the exercises.
6 Armenian helicopters (2 Mi-8 and 4 Mi-24) were reportedly involved in the exercises.
In response to the exercises, Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry announced on November 6 that the conduct of military exercises in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan by the Armenian Armed Forces is the next stage of aggressive policy of Yerevan against our country. The Republic of Armenia is directly responsible for the occupation of our lands and responsibility for possible future events in the region unconditionally lays on Yerevan’s leadership.
The exercises are being held in the training ground established in the Azerbaijani settlement abandoned during the war in Uzundere village of Aghdam region. The air distance between this area and the frontline is 3000 meters. According to the residents of frontline villages of Aghdam region, fires opened by the Armenians during the exercises are heard clearly.
The statement, issued by the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry immediately after the incident, says that during the recent exercises conducted by the Armenian Armed Forces, Armenia's military aircraft have been implementing provocative flights over the frontal area for three days: “The enemy military aircraft, performing combat maneuvers over the Azerbaijani positions, today attempted to open fire at our positions. On November 12 at about 1:45 pm, the Mi-24 helicopter of the Armenian Armed Forces flying 1700 meters north-east of Kangarli village of Aghdam region attacked the Azerbaijani positions. The enemy helicopter was shot down by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces.”
The military helicopter, downed in the occupied territories while performing combat maneuvers, belongs to the 15th air base, stationed at military airfield Erebuni in Yerevan. All three crew members of the downed helicopter were the officers of the Armenian Air Forces.
As a continuation of Yerevan’s provocations, on November 13, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan visited the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, Khankendi city by helicopter flagrantly violating the airspace of Azerbaijan for the next time. Armenian President’s website’s spreading Serzh Sargsyan’s photos in military uniform who visited the occupied territories of Azerbaijan by helicopter can be regarded as a sign to continue the provocative steps.
In 2010, the Azerbaijani government stated that the flights in the airspace over the territories occupied by Armenia. Flights over these territories are the violation of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized air borders and measures will be taken against such actions perpetrated by all air tools, regardless of their destination. Even their physical destruction is not excluded. In its appeal to ICAO, IATA, ECAC and other international organizations, Baku officially stated that it doesn’t guarantee the security of the flights over the occupied territories.
In January 2013, the Cabinet of Ministers passed a decision to allow shooting down the airplanes which violate the airspace of Azerbaijan. The document determines 13.5/25km-wide borderline strip used in the special regime along the state border.
According to the document, banned zones and limited zones can be determined in the airspace of Azerbaijan. When necessary, taking into account the state interests the State Civil Aviation Administration can determine certain parts of the airspace as banned or limited zones basing on the proposals of the relevant executive authorities. Use of airspace in the banned and limited zones is prohibited.
The violations of the rules of use of Azerbaijan’s airspace were found. The use of air space without sending poll (table, graphic), warning military air forces’ bodies, the poll before coming into force and after ending of period of poll’s validity and without the permission of relevant operative body, non-fulfillment of teams of flights governing bodies and fighter-interceptor aircraft, implementation of the flights for monitoring, use of airspace of banned and limited zones without special permission etc are considered the violation of airspace’s rules.
It’s not the first time Armenia has attempted to violate Azerbaijan’s borders and escalate the situation. The plans of flight to the Khojaly airport under occupation and an Armenian helicopter with Armenia’s defense minister on board attempting to violate Azerbaijan’s state border in the direction of Gazakh District in May 2013 can be the examples. During the last inciden, the helicopter carrying the Armenian defense minister tried to violate the air border but was forced to fly back with warning fire.
We have enough facts.
When international law and the national legislation are taken into account, the following questions emerge and these questions can be answered with simple logic:
- In which country’s territory was the helicopter of the Armed Forces of the Armenian Republic downed?
- What was the purpose of the helicopter of the Armed Forces of the Armenian Republic flying over the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan?
- Under what circumstances was the helicopter shot down?
That’s the reality; the downed is a Mi-24 (NATO codename: Hind) strike helicopter of the Armenian Air Forces. This helicopter is designed to provide fire support to infantry units, destroy the enemy’s manpower, positions, armed and unarmed vehicles. It’s armed with a 12.7 mm-caliber machine gun, anti-tank guided missiles, and unguided 57 or 81 mm-caliber missiles. And the whereabouts of the shooting of the helicopter are Aghdam District, the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The helicopter was involved in the military exercises conducted by the Armenian army in the occupied Azerbaijani district of Aghdam
The helicopter was downed while attacking the Azerbaijani army’s positions and not involved in any humanitarian or civil operation.
Those who accuse Azerbaijan of “taking a wrong step” by shooting down the Armenian helicopter should be reminded of a few facts.
We have facts regarding the shooting of Azerbaijan’s civil helicopters by the Armenians back in 1992-1994.
On 28 January 1992, the downing of a Mi-8 civil helicopter of Azal by the Igla man-portable missile system while landing in the city of Shusha resulted in the death of 30 persons, including the crew. On 3 March 1992, a Mi-26 helicopter of Russia, presumed to be of Azerbaijan, was shot down by the Armenians while flying over the Gulustan village. As a result, 12 persons delivering aid to the Armenians were killed in the incident. On 12 May 1992, a Mi-26 helicopter flying from Nakhchivan to Vaziani with the families of some Russian officers leaving Azerbaijan on board was downed over Armenia. 3 crew members and 6 passengers were killed in the accident.
These are history and facts. This is the truth!
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