The president of the self-declared Artsakh Republic has accused Israel of being aware that Azerbaijan is using Israeli drones in a “genocidal” attack on Armenians in Nagorna-Karabakh.
The war in the disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia has entered its third week despite a Moscow-brokered ceasefire this weekend that failed.
Azerbaijan has said that it has used Israeli-made drones and Armenians have expressed disappointment at Israeli drone sales to Baku, calling for them to stop and pulling Yerevan’s ambassador.
In an article on Sunday at RAI the president of the unrecognized Artsakh Republic Arayik Harutyunyan accused Israel of complicity in Azerbaijan’s “genocide.”
He said that Israel was aware its weapons were being used against civilians. At the recent press conference the Armenian leader of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed area that is viewed as part of Azerbaijan but controlled by Armenians, said that the Israeli drones had been used for attacks and not for defensive purposes.
He said Israel has known this since the 2016 conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia when “UAVs were actually operated by Israeli specialists.”
He said Israel was aware of the situation today and that they are “complicit in Azerbaijan’s genocidal policy, despite being a nation that survived genocide.”
Armenians have called in the past for Israel to recognize the Armenian genocide and members of the Knesset have argued that Israel should do so.
The Artsakh leader’s comments appeared in the context of this, arguing that since Jews suffered the Holocaust, Israel should be more sensitive about selling weapons and while Azerbaijan has often thanked Israel for decades of friendly relations, Armenia has voiced criticism for the arms sales.
Harutyunyan was elected in May 2020 and has been a leader of Artsakh in other positions for many years; previously he was prime minister. Azerbaijan has demanded that Armenia withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh, which would essentially end the existence of the Artsakh Republic.
Armenia has accused Azerbaijan of bombing a historic church and shelling civilian areas, while Azerbaijan said Armenia has launched rockets at many of its cities.
Russia, France and Iran have called for a ceasefire and many countries have expressed concern about the continued fighting in which tens of thousands have reportedly been displaced.
Armenia has also said that Turkey sent mercenaries from Syria to Azerbaijan to be used against it.