Armenia threatened 'grave consequences' Wednesday after Azerbaijani forces shot down a military helicopter, sparking fears of a major escalation in the conflict over the disputed region of Nagorny Karabakh.
The downing of the helicopter belonging to the army of the breakaway ethnic Armenian region is the most serious incident on the Karabakh border since the 1994 ceasefire that ended a bloody war that cost 30,000 lives.
Armenian media reported that the helicopter's three crew members were all killed.
"A MI-24 combat helicopter attempted to attack positions of the Azerbaijani army near (Karabakh's) Agdam district," Azerbaijan's defence ministry said in a statement.
"The helicopter has been shot down by the Azerbaijani army," it said, adding that the wreckage fell on territory held by ethnic Armenians.
Yerevan vowed that Baku will face "grave consequences", fuelling fears that the incident might seriously undermine a shaky peace.
"This is an unprecedented escalation and the consequences for Azerbaijan will be grave,” Armenia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Artsrun Hovannisyan, told AFP.
“Azerbaijan's claim that the Armenian helicopter attacked its positions is not true. Examination of the wreckage will prove that the helicopter carried no weapons,” he added.
The separatist defence ministry in Karabakh confirmed that its helicopter was downed by Azerbaijani forces "while conducting a training flight as part of military drills", adding that a firefight began after the incident and was continuing.
12 November 2014
I guess Armenia and Azerbaijan felt left out, with everyone else shooting at each other.
Posted by Brant at 19:44