Turkey’s F-16 fighter shot down Armenia’s Sukhoi Su-25 from Azerbaijni territory, the Armenian Defense Ministry reported. The Turkish plane, while staying inside Azerbaijani airspace, was providing support for Azerbaijan’s forces on the ground delivering strikes against the Armenian city of Vardenis.
“At about 10:30 on Tuesday Turkish F-16 fighters took from the airbase in Gyandzha to provide support for Azderbaijani forces’ strikes against the city of Vardenis and the villages of Mets Masrik and Sotk. A Turkish F-16 shot down a Sukhoi-25 of the Armenian Air Force, which was on a combat mission. The Turkish fighter was 60 kilometers inside Azerbaijan’s air space at an altitude of 8,200 meters,” the Armenian Defense Ministry said in a news release.
Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin denies a Turkish fighter destroyed an Armenian fighter-bomber. Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry dismissed this as a lie, too.
Earlier, the Armenian Defense Ministry said Turkey had unleashed direct aggression against Yerevan. On Tuesday morning, the Armenian Foreign Ministry said that Azerbaijan’s military was shelling the Armenian city of Vardenis and nearby villages. A civilian was killed.
Tensions over Nagorno-Karabakh surged on September 27. Combat clashes are underway in the disputed territory. Azerbaijan and Armenia have introduced martial law and declared mobilization. Both parties to the conflict report casualties, including civilian ones. Baku claims it has gained control of several villages and strategic heights in Nagorno-Karabakh. Yerevan says there have been bombardments of Armenia’s territory.
Baku and Yerevan have disputed sovereignty over Nagorno-Karabakh since February 1988, when the region declared secession from the Azerbaijani Soviet Socialist Republic. During the armed conflict of 1992-1994 Azerbaijan lost control of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven neighboring districts.