Armenia claims Turkey shot down a jet during Nagorno-Karabakh fighting

Armenia accuses Turkey of shooting down one of its warplanes during fighting around the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, amid fears that the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan could escalate into a full-scale war.

Armenia claims Turkey shot down a jet during Nagorno-Karabakh fighting

The Armenian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that a Turkish F-16 shot down an Armenian Su-25 fighter jet in Armenian airspace, killing the pilot. A spokesman for the ministry said the Turkish jet flew from an airbase inside Azerbaijan and was providing cover to an Azerbaijani plane attacking Armenian positions.

Turkey has denied the allegations, while a government spokesman called them "imaginary." Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev also denied the allegations, telling Russian state television that Turkey was "not involved" in the current conflict.

The incident comes as fierce fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan around Nagorno-Karabakh continues for a third day, raising fears that it could become a major battle between regional powers and destabilize a key energy corridor. Can cause the possible shooting of the plane further escalated tensions between Armenia and Turkey, which support Azerbaijan and which Armenia has already accused of providing military assistance in the current fighting.

The UN Security Council plans to hold an emergency meeting behind closed doors on Tuesday to discuss the violence, which has already left dozens dead and hundreds injured. This is the heaviest battle since the 1990s, when both sides fought a bloody war. Five European countries, Belgium, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Estonia, have requested that the Security Council convene.

A mountain siege between Armenia and Azerbaijan The current military conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh is about the end of the Soviet Union. When the two countries declared independence, the Armenian population of the enclave sought to unite with Armenia, and war broke out, killing 30,000 and displacing millions. Despite a ceasefire by the Russians in 1994, the conflict has never been resolved and there have been regular clashes since then. After displacing hundreds of thousands of Azeri, an Armenian-backed government now rules the enclave and the majority is Armenian. Although the region is still recognized’ internationally as the territory of Azerbaijan, which has never relinquished its claim to it.

The two countries fought a five-day war in 2016 and most recently in July.

According to civilians on the ground and independent analysts, however, the fighting is now heavier than anything since the 1990s and the dangers of turning it into a major war are high.

Azerbaijan and Armenia on Tuesday accused each other of firing directly at each other's territory outside Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Armenian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that a civilian bus in the town of Vardenis, 12 miles from Nagorno-Karabakh caught fire after being hit’ by an Azerbaijani drone. According to the Armenian Foreign Ministry, a civilian was reported’ killed in the town, the first of its kind in Armenia.

Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry has accused the Armenian army of firing on the Azerbaijani territory of Dashkesan, which Armenia has denied.

On Tuesday morning, Angela Frangyan, a filmmaker in Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, told ABC News by phone that residents could hear the shelling of regular shelling and airstrikes. Many women and children spent the night in bomb shelters, he said.

France said the fighting in its scale and intensity was greater than anything in the region since the 1990s, adding that it did not feel threatened in the city during the 2016 war.

"It's very, very different," France said. He said the widespread use of Azerbaijani drones was to increase terrorism on the ground. "It's completely a drone war," he said.

According to The Associated Press, Nagorno-Karabakh officials say 84 soldiers have been killed’ so far. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has said that 10 Azerbaijanis have been killed’ since the fighting began on Sunday. Azerbaijani authorities have not released any information about his military casualties.

There are fears that there could be a full-scale war between Turkey and Russia in the regional powers. Moscow has close ties with both Armenia and Azerbaijan and has traditionally acted as a mediator between them. But Russia also has a formal security agreement with Armenia, and in recent years Azerbaijan has moved closer to Turkey, leaving the Kremlin in a state of disarray.

Turkey has long supported Azerbaijan, with which it has ethnic ties, but has taken a more aggressive stance on the current war than usual. This week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said "now is the time to end Armenia's occupation."


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