Azerbaijan downs Armenian spy drone : regional war looming in Russian backyard


Drone was on reconnaissance mission above Azerbaijan, says defense ministry.

Azerbaijan said Saturday it downed an Armenian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) amid heightened tensions along the border.

The drone was conducting reconnaissance on Azerbaijani positions near the Tovuz district, according to the Defense Ministry.

The drone was not the first destroyed by Azerbaijani forces since tensions escalated between the two nations last month.

The Armenian Army violated a cease-fire July 12 and attacked Azerbaijani positions with artillery fire, withdrawing after suffering losses following retaliation from the Azerbaijani army.

Armenia martyred 12 Azerbaijani soldiers, including high-ranking officers, and wounded four troops in the attack.

Despite international calls for restraint, Armenian troops opened fire on civilian settlements in the villages of Agdam and Dondar Kuscu. A 76-year-old Azerbaijani citizen was killed in the attacks by Armenia, which Baku has accused of hiding losses.

Azerbaijan has blamed Armenia for the “provocative” actions, with Turkey throwing its weight behind Baku and saying it is warning Yerevan that it would not hesitate to stand against any kind of attack on its eastern neighbor.

Since 1991, the Armenian military has illegally occupied the Upper Karabakh, or Nagorno-Karabakh region, an internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

Four UN Security Council and two UN General Assembly resolutions, as well as decisions by many international organizations, refer to this fact and demand the withdrawal of the occupational Armenian forces from Upper Karabakh and seven other occupied regions of Azerbaijan.

* Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev from Ankara