Azeri Defense Ministry Plane Landed Twice in Israel During Fighting in Karabakh

Azeri Defense Ministry Plane Landed Twice in Israel During Fighting in Karabakh  –


Haaretz – A large cargo plane belonging to the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry has landed in Israel twice in recent weeks, apparently at the Uvda military airfield in the Negev. The flights, which took off from the Azerbaijani capital Baku, occurred about two weeks ago, in the midst of the latest round of fighting between the Azerbaijani and Armenian armies in Nagorno-Karabakh, according to a publicly-accessible online flight database.

According to foreign reports, Israel has become a key supplier of arms to Azerbaijan in recent years, selling nearly $5 billion worth of weapons over the past four years.

The Ilyushin 76 cargo plane arrived in Israel on April 4 and again on April 6, according to an internet flight database. The plane, which flies under the call sign AZAF8 (Azerbaijani Air Force 8) came from the direction of Turkey, flew over Cyprus and entered Israeli airspace over Tel Aviv.

A video from the area of the fighting showed an Israeli-made Harop “suicide” drone, which crashes into targets while loaded with explosives. A spokesman for the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said one of the drones crashed into a bus, killing seven “Armenian volunteers” who were on their way to the battle zone. 

Foreign media reported that in 2012 the Israel Aerospace Industries signed a $1.6 billion defense deal with Azerbaijan that included a drone supply.

The Armenian ambassador to Egypt, Armen Melkonian, who also serves as his country’s ambassador to Israel, came to Jerusalem last week. A senior official in Jerusalem said that Melkonian delivered an official protest to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem over the drone incident and the supply of weapons to the Azerbaijanis in general.


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