Armenia accuses Turkey of shooting down military plane, Turks deny – Observer

Armenia said on Tuesday that Turkey shot down one of its military planes, a charge denied by Ankara, despite claims that the Turks have supported Azerbaijan in the ongoing struggle with pro-Armenian separatists at the top. -Karabakh.

“An Armenian SU-25 plane was shot down by a Turkish F-16 from the territory of Azerbaijan,” Armenian Defense Ministry spokesman Chuchan Stepanian said in a message via Facebook, adding that the Armenian pilot of the device “Death like a hero”.

However, Turkey immediately responded by denying that it shot down the plane.

“The claim that Turkey has shot down an Armenian fighter is absolutely false,” said Turkish presidency communications director Fahrettin Altun.

Since last Sunday, the forces of the separatist enclave, supported politically, economically and militarily by Armenia, a country of the Orthodox Christian religion, and those of Azerbaijan have been fighting in the bloodiest battles since 2016.

The Nagorno-Karabakh region is at the heart of the deteriorating relations between Yerevan and Baku.

Integrated into Azerbaijan in 1921 by the Soviet authorities, the region unilaterally proclaimed its independence in 1991, with the support of Armenia.

Following a war that left 30,000 dead and hundreds of thousands of refugees, a ceasefire was signed in 1994 and accepted a Russian-American-French mediation called the Minsk group. However, armed skirmishes remain frequent.

In July this year, the two countries were involved in smaller-scale clashes that left around 20 dead.

The most important recent fighting dates back to April 2016, with a balance of 110 dead.

The return of armed conflict in this separatist Armenian region of Nagorno-Karabakh raises fears of a large-scale war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the southern Caucasus, where Ankara and Moscow are fighting over areas of influence.

The UN Security Council is due to hold an emergency closed-door meeting on Tuesday on the situation.

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