Armenia said a Turkish fighter jet shot down one of its warplanes during fighting with Turkey’s ally Azerbaijan in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. Turkey and Azerbaijan denied the accusation.
Armenian officials said a SU-25 from its air force was shot down in Armenian airspace by a Turkish F-16 that took off from Azerbaijan. If true, it would be a serious escalation by Turkey, which has pledged support for Azerbaijan in the conflict.
Fahrettin Altun, the communications director for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said the allegation was “absolutely untrue.” Azeri officials called the claim “another fantasy of the Armenian military propaganda machine.”
Turkey has also been accused of sending fighters from northern Syria to support Azerbaijan. These rumors were also denied by Azerbaijan, but reports continue to surface in the media of fighters in northern Syria being recruited to work for a private Turkish security firm in Azerbaijan.
The latest from Middle East Eye says, “Hundreds of Syrian rebels and civilians are being sent by Turkey to Azerbaijan to guard Turkish troops and strategic assets, with suspicions that they may soon find themselves in the current Nagorno-Karabakh clashes.”
Fighting has continued in Nagorno-Karabakh for the third day, with dozens reported killed and hundreds wounded. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have rejected the idea of peace talks, and the conflict appears to be expanding as both sides have accused one another of firing directly into each other’s territory.