AYF ER Statement on Artsakh Helicopter Downing by Azerbaijan
On November 12, 2014, Azeri military forces shot down an Artsakh Air Force Mi-24 unarmed helicopter at 1:45PM local time, once again violating the ceasefire. The helicopter was engaged in military training exercises near the Line of Contact. According to the Nagorno Karabagh Republic (NKR) Defense Ministry, Azeri military forces continued to attack the area where the initial incident occurred with weapons of various calibers. Though the helicopter was unarmed, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry claims the attack was a defense against attacks on Azerbaijani positions. Three members of the Artsakh Air Force were killed in the attack.
The AYF-YOARF Eastern Region strongly condemns the continuation of ceasefire violations committed by the Azeri government. The organization also mourns the loss of the Artsakh Air Force members who were killed in this attack. We offer our condolences to their family members, as well as to the families of all the soldiers who have been killed due to multiple ceasefire violations. We are also disappointed in the OSCE Minsk Group for failing to condemn the Azeri government for its actions and maintaining a false parity between parties involved in the conflict. Please visit http://armenianweekly.com/2014/11/12/minsk-group-helicopter/ to learn more about the OSCE Minsk Group responses to the attack.
We urge all Armenians to work toward creating peace and independence for those living in Artsakh. Please sign the ANCA Action Alert found at http://anca.org/action_alerts/action_disp.php?aaid=63765006 to inform your Congress members about the events occurring in this region and offer steps toward peace.
AYF-YOARF Central Executive, Eastern Region