A Christian country (Armenia) tells a Jewish country (Israel) to stop selling weapons to a Muslim country (Azerbaijan). A curious triangle that shows that, when talking about businesses and millions of dollars in arms sales, religious or other issues take a back seat.
Israel’s supply of super-modern weaponry to Azerbaijan is particularly in the midst of large-scale aggression by this country against Armenia and Artsaj (Nagorno-Karabakh),” said Anna Nagdalián, foreign spokesperson of the Armenian government, during a press conference. “Such a position is unacceptable to us, and we took the decision to withdraw our ambassador for consultations,” she continued
Armenia recalled its ambassador to Israel today, issuing a rare diplomatic rebuke over Israel’s arms sales to rival Azerbaijan.
Israeli Drones And LORA SRBM Used By Azerbaijani Army
Azerbaijan’s military deployed Israeli-made drones against Armenian forces during the heavy fighting that erupted in the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region, an Azerbaijani official told a local Israeli outlet this week.
In 2012 the Institute was already talking about the arms acquisitions of both countries, which indicated a high risk of a resumption of conflict in the region. Moreover, in a video interview with Israel’s Walla news website on Wednesday, Azerbaijan’s presidential aide Hikmat Hajiyey said Azerbaijan was using “some” Israeli-made drones in the fighting around Nagorno-Karabakh, without specifying how many.
(“We have) one of the strongest (drone) fleets in the region. And among them we have the Israelis, we also have other drones, but especially the Israeli drones, including reconnaissance and attack drones, and the kamikaze ‘Harop’ drones, (which) have proven to be very effective,” Hajiyev said. This alliance is based on a number of geostrategic factors: the first is Azerbaijan’s loss of political control over Nagorno-Karabakh and the need to reverse this situation through a powerful military programme, which has made it a major importer of Israeli defence technologies. Jewish defence companies have trained Azerbaijan’s special forces, built a security system for Baku airport and improved Soviet-era military equipment (tanks).
A video shared on social media from the clashes between Armenian separatists and Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh region shows Azeri forces using an Israeli-made missile to shell a bridge in Armenia, Jerusalem Post cited Israel-based Channel 12 News as reporting on Saturday.
The footage shows a vehicle approaching the bridge connecting Armenia with the breakaway state of Nagorno-Karabakh when a missile strike levels the bridge, the Israeli newspaper said.
The Jerusalem Post said the quasi-ballistic missile, dubbed “LORA” (Long Range Attack), has an operational range of 400 kilometres and is accurate in hitting targets within 10 minutes after being launched either from a ship or by land. The LORA is produced by the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
Azerbaijan was the first and only confirmed country to which Israel delivered LORA missiles in a 2018 arms deal, it said.
The two former Soviet republics are locked in their worst round of violence in years. More than 100 have died this week in the contested territory, which is officially part of Azerbaijan but run by ethnic Armenians backed by Yerevan.
“For us, Israel’s supply of ultra-modern weapons to Azerbaijan is unacceptable, especially now, in the conditions of Azerbaijan’s aggression with the support of Turkey,” said Armenian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna Naghdalyan.
After Armenia recalled its ambassador, Israel’s Foreign Ministry released a statement saying, “Israel attaches importance to our relations with Armenia, and because of this sees the Armenian Embassy in Israel as an important tool for promoting the benefit of both peoples.”
Israel has not taken a side, but does consider Azerbaijan to be a strategic ally. According to the Times of Israel, it is believed that Israel supplies 60% of the Azerbaijani military’s weaponry.
In an interview published Wednesday with the Israeli news site Walla, Hikmet Hajiyev, assistant to the president of Azerbaijan, said his countrymen “very much appreciate the cooperation with Israel, especially the defense cooperation.”
Armenia and Azerbaijan have rebuffed international calls for a cease-fire. In a joint statement today, the leaders of the United States, France and Russia urged the two sides to commit to resuming substantive talks over Nagorno-Karabakh.
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