The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
A 'suicide-drone' highlights Israel's role in faraway Azeri-Armenian conflict Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

A 'suicide-drone' highlights Israel's role in faraway Azeri-Armenian conflict

The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan enters a dangerous phase of near open war [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 April, 2016

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
An Israeli "suicide drone" deployed by Azerbaijan to attack an Armenian convoy marks the first use of such munition warfare highlighting Israel's increasing role as weaponry supplier in the conflict.
An Israeli-made "suicide drone" used by Azerbaijan to attack an Armenian convoy earlier this week has raised controversy amid the major escalation of fighting between the two ex-Soviet republics.

The use of the explosive-laden "suicide-drone" marks the first use of such weaponry in military warfare and has highlighted Israel's increasing role in providing key weaponry to Azerbaijan as the conflict ignites.

A Youtube video showing the Israeli-made device flying over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh area circulated online after The Washington Post first reported the incident on Tuesday.

The device was identified by its distinct wing shape and nose which resembles an Israeli Aerospace Industries Harop loitering munition.

It can be piloted remotely as well as find targets based on radio wave emissions, according to its manufacturers.

The reported "suicide-drone" was used by Azerbaijani forces and killed seven people after it crashed into a bus carrying Armenian soldiers, a spokesman for Armenia's defence ministry said.

Armenia reportedly protested sharply to Israel, Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Sunday.

A Youtube video showing the Israeli-made device flying over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh area

Despite Israel's geographical location, the use of the "suicide-drone" points to its increasing prominence in the escalating violence between the two Caucus nations.

Tel Aviv is Azerbaijan's key weapons supplier, Haaretz reported.

"Azerbaijan has become a major client for Israeli arms, including drones and air-defence systems," the Israeli daily said.

In return, the Azerbaijan government has opened the taps to their significant oil reserves to establish Baku as a major supplier of oil to Israel.

Israeli diplomats have referred to Baku as "a strategic partner" as relations cement between the two states.

Armenia and Azerbaijan traded accusations over violations of a Russia-backed ceasefire that went into effect on Tuesday

Flurry of diplomacy to halt escalation

Meanwhile Armenia and Azerbaijan traded accusations over violations of a Russia-backed ceasefire that went into effect on Tuesday.

More than 92 soldiers from both sides as well as scores of civilians have been killed over the past weeks as violence broke out between forces from the long-hostile republics.

The once "frozen" conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, neighbours who have bitterly contested rule over entire regions and the contours of borders following the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, has now entered a dangerous phase of near open war.

Armenia-backed separatists still maintain control of Nagorny Karabakh, which is located inside Azerbaijan's territory but populated mainly by Christian ethnic Armenians, following the war in the early 1990s that claimed some 30,000 lives until a ceasefire was reached in 1994.

World leaders have urged Baku and Yerevan to refrain from further violence and to step up efforts aimed at finding a diplomatic solution to the protracted conflict.

On Saturday the Russian, US and French co-chairs of the Minsk Group seeking an end to the conflict said they hoped Yerevan and Baku would return to the negotiating table.

"The principal mission is to help stabilise the situation and take steps to ensure that there is not new fighting," Russian ambassador Igor Popov said.

"It is also to get Azerbaijan and Armenia sitting down at the negotiating table," he added.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev travelled to Yerevan and Baku on Thursday and Friday to urge them to refrain from further violence, saying in an interview published Saturday that the situation has gone from "massive military actions" to sporadic shooting.

Moscow has a military alliance with Yerevan but supplies both sides with weapons, a situation Medvedev indicated will continue.

"If Russia abandons this role, we understand perfectly well that this role will not be empty. They will buy weapons from other countries...this could destroy the existing balance," he told Rossiya channel.

"I don't think that the appearance of weapons suppliers from other countries will alleviate the situation, I think the situation will become more difficult," he said.

Agencies contributed to this report.

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More