Turkey denies shooting down Armenian warplane
Turkey on Sept. 29 denied an Armenian claim that Turkey’s F-16 fighter jets had shot down an Armenian SU-25 warplane during clashes over the occupied Nagorny Karabakh region.
"The claim that Turkey shot down an Armenian fighter jet is absolutely untrue," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s top press aide Fahrettin Altun said.
"Armenia should withdraw from the territories under its occupation instead of resorting to cheap propaganda tricks," he added.
Turkey not involved in Armenia conflict: Azerbaijan
Turkey is not a party to Azerbaijan’s conflict with Armenia and is only providing moral support to Baku, Azerbaijan’s president said on Sept. 29.
“Rumors being spread by Armenia that Turkey is involved in the conflict are provocative,” Ilham Aliyev told the Russian "60 Minutes" program aired on the Rossiya-1 TV channel.
Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan responded to questions from the hosts.
"The role of Turkey is intended to stabilize the situation in the region. Turkey is our brother country and our ally," Aliyev said, adding that as soon as the border clashes began, Erdoğan and other senior Turkish officials voiced support for Azerbaijan and international law.
He also thanked the Turkish nation for its support.
Rejecting Armenia’s claims that a Turkish F-16 fighter jet had downed an Armenian Su-25 ground attack aircraft, Aliyev said Turkish warplanes were “in no way involved in the conflict,” adding Armenia's reports were "fake news."
"The aim of Armenia is to insult the Azerbaijani army, which fulfills its duty with honor, by making such false reports and to create the impression that the conflicts have increased and third countries are getting involved in the issue," he said.
The Azerbaijani leader pointed out that clashes were continuing on the border and that the Azerbaijani army had liberated some settlements from occupation and seized strategically important heights.
Aliyev also denied allegations that fighters were brought to Azerbaijan from Syria to battle Armenian forces.
"This is another [piece of] fake news. There are no fighters from Syria. There is no evidence of this. This is Armenian propaganda spread over the internet and by different media outlets."
"With a population of 10 million versus 2 million in Armenia, we have enough human resources," he added.
Noting that the Azerbaijani army is well-trained and prepared, Aliyev emphasized that his country can defend its lands on its own.