Armenia Downs Turkish and Israeli Drones, as Azers push back from Arax River Region
Armenian Defense Ministry spokesman Shushan Stepanyan announced Tuesday morning that Armenian forces had removed units of the Azeri army from the Khudaferin Reservoir, an artificial lake that was blocked by a dam crossing the Arax River between the Iranian-Artsakh borders. Azeri troops first reached the dam on Sunday, taking advantage of the now-announced ceasefire, to raise a flag there.
The incident comes just minutes after the Azerbaijani ministry released footage showing Azerbaijani troops raising the Azeri crescent-tricolor in central Kovsakan. The city, which has been deserted since Azerbaijani residents fled the first civil war in 1994, eventually became home to Syrian-Armenian farmers fleeing the 2013 Syrian Civil War.
Video footage of the Kovsakan flag-raising ceremony as well as claims by Azerbaijani President IlhamAliyev that the city had been “liberated” was vehemently denied by Defense Ministry spokesman Artrsun Hovhannisyan. There are also growing calls from around the world for international recognition in the troubled region of Artsakh.
France has launched a plan to support the recognition of Artsakh. The city of Vienna has now joined two other French municipalities for official recognition, while Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has strongly hinted that her municipalitis planning to follow the suit. Meanwhile, reports say footage of Turkish Bayraktar TB2 anti-UAV drones shot down by the Artsakh Air Force has been released, with Turkey denies that its drones are fighting in the region.
In July, the Armenian Defense Forces shot down an Israeli Azerbaijani drone. In a statement, the Armenian military said an Israeli-made drone had shot down and crashed into one of its air defense systems early after it violated its airspace in part of the south.
Armenian military officials also unveiled the wreckage of two Turkish drones, Bayraktar TB2 Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) that were shot down along with at least four other drones.
Turkish and Israeli drones are taking part in the fighting across the green line. These aircraft were spotted with serial number indicating that they were produced by WESCAM in Ontario-Canada, a subsidiary of L3Harris Technologies in June 2020, and operated for a total of 31 hours.
The Ministry of Defense claims that this discovery officially confirms that Turkey is re-deploying Canadian military technology in violation of Canadian law. This angered the Canadian government and halted arms exports. Meanwhile, Prime Minister NikolPashinyan called on the rest of the NATO alliance to take the incident as an example and to suspend the export military technology to Turkey.