STEPANAKERT — Nagorno-Karabakh’s armed forces said on Saturday that they have recovered, in a commando raid, the bodies of the three Armenian pilots of a combat helicopter shot down by Azerbaijani forces last week.

In a statement, the Defense Army said its special forces approached the wreckage of the Mi-24 gunship in the no man’s land east of Karabakh despite the Azerbaijani military’s refusal to grant the Armenian side access to the site. It said they managed to evacuate “the corpse of one of the crew members, the remains of the two other pilots and some necessary parts of the helicopter.”

“Two enemy soldiers were taken out during the special operation,” added the statement. “The Defense Army suffered no casualties.”

“This action was unprecedented in its nature and complexity, taking into consideration the heavy resistance on the part of the adversary,” Spokesman for the Armenian Ministry of Defense Artsrun Hovhannisian said, adding that the enemy incurred great losses.

The pilots Armenian military helicopter shot down near Nagorno-Karabakh on November 12, 2014: Major Sergey Sahakian (L), Lieutenant Azat Sahakian, Senior Lieutenant Sargis Nazarian.
The pilots of Armenian military helicopter shot down near Nagorno-Karabakh on November 12, 2014: Major Sergey Sahakian (L), Lieutenant Azat Sahakian, Senior Lieutenant Sargis Nazarian.

The ministry spokesman said Karabakh Armenian commandos neutralized an “ambush” set up by Azerbaijani troops. “It was a world-class, brilliant operation,” Hovannisian wrote on Facebook. He gave no other details.

The army clarified later in the day that the operation took place on Thursday. The Karabakh Armenian military did not explain why it did not immediately announce the evacuation.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry was quick to deny the information, however, saying that Armenian soldiers did not access to the crash site reportedly located less than 200 meters from Azerbaijani army positions. It claimed that the Armenian military will “fool the Armenian people” by handing “other remains” to the families of the dead pilots.

The Karabakh army shrugged off those claims. It pointed to the Azerbaijani combat death reported on Thursday and released aerial photographs of the helicopter crash site which it said were taken before and after the operation. One of the images purportedly shows the body of one of the Armenian pilots lying amidst the debris.

drone-infographic-enInfographic by panorama.am

 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Get notified of the latest updates from MassisPost.

You May Also Like

Pashinyan Message: We Will Fight to Keep Armenia and Artsakh Free and Happy

YEREVAN — Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) are determined to “fight till the…

Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Iraq Addresses Letter to Prince Charles

Archbishop Avak Asadourian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of…

Pashinyan Hits Back At Sarkisian Over Remarks On Recent Border Clashes

YEREVAN — Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has chided, through his spokesperson,…

Turkish Armenian Community Files Lawsuit Against Government – Calls for Permission to Elect New Patriarch

ISTANBUL — The Turkish Armenian community has filed two lawsuits against the…