The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry announced on Saturday that the country’s air defense forces destroyed the Su-25 aircraft of the Armenian armed forces, TASS reported.
“On October 17, at 11:11 local time (10:11 Moscow time), Azerbaijani air defense units destroyed Su-25 aircraft belonging to the Armenian Armed Forces, which tried to strike at the positions of the Azerbaijani army units in the direction of the Jabrayil region,” the defense ministry said in a statement.
The Armenian Defense Ministry denied Baku’s statement, calling it misinformation. “The statement of the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry that on October 17 they allegedly shot down Su-25 aircraft belonging to the Armenian side is yet another misinformation,” Armenian Defense Ministry press secretary Shushan Stepanyan said.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said earlier on Saturday that the country’s army took control of the city of Fizuli and seven villages in the Fizuli region of Karabakh. He called the missile strikes on the city of Ganja a war crime and said that the Armenian leadership should be held accountable for shelling civilians.
Renewed clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia erupted on September 27, with intense battles raging in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The area experienced flare-ups of violence in the summer of 2014, in April 2016 and this past July. Azerbaijan and Armenia have imposed martial law and launched mobilization efforts. Both parties to the conflict have reported casualties, among them civilians.
The conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up, but primarily populated by ethnic Armenians, broke out in February 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1992-1994, tensions boiled over and exploded into large-scale military action for control over the enclave and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them. Talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement have been ongoing since 1992 under the OSCE Minsk Group, led by its three co-chairs – Russia, France and the United States.