BAKU—Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on Monday posed in front a state-of-the-art rocket system, manufactured by the Israel Aerospace Industries and is the latest acquisition made by Baku as part of its reported $5 billion arms deals with the Jewish State.
Aliyev attended the inauguration of the new missile system for the Azerbaijani Army and can be seen in photographs released by the presidential press service inspecting a row vehicles that form part a long range artillery weapons system developed by Israel Aerospace Industries. The company says that its product is “capable of engaging strategic targets deep in the enemy’s territory from mobile or maritime platforms,” with its missiles having a maximum range of 400 kilometers (approximately 250 miles).
Through its arms deals and backdoor facilitation, Israel seems to be inserting itself into the ongoing Karabakh conflict, without any ramifications from the international community, specifically the OSCE Minks Group co-chairing countries of Russia, France and the United States.
Regular flights of large cargo destined for Azerbaijan have been spotted leaving Israeli airbases and airports.
Last month an investigation by a Czech television station said Azerbaijan used Israeli territory to secretly import defense articles from the Czech Republic in defiance of a ban on arms exports because of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The report said that aircraft flew from Slovakia to Israel with Czech-made weapons which were then flown on to Baku.
Last year, the Israeli government opened an investigation into another Israeli arms manufacturer, Aeronautics Ltd., which reportedly live-tested one of its suicide drones on an Artsakh military target near an area populated by civilians. The Israeli defense ministry revoked the company’s license pending the completion of the investigation.
Aliyev’s show and tell on Monday took place a day after another Artsakh soldier was killed by Azerbaijani fire and two days before the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmen are due in Yerevan for the first time since Nikol Pashinyan became Armenia’s prime minister.
The new administration in Armenia must address Israel’s increased involvement in the Karabakh conflict with the mediators and demand a succinct posturing by the mediators.