Armenia’s First Deputy Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan met with Yerevan-based foreign diplomats and military attachés on Tuesday to brief them on a reported commando raid that gave Nagorno-Karabakh’s army access to the crash site of its downed helicopter.
A statement by the Armenian Defense Ministry said Tonoyan presented details of the “special operation” and “irrefutable facts” proving that it resulted in the recovery of the remains of the helicopter’s three crew members.
According to the statement, he also denounced Azerbaijan’s allegations that the Armenian military handed the remains of other persons to the families of the three pilots. “The Azerbaijani campaign of disinformation amounts to a cover-up by Azerbaijan’s army of its inability to accomplish tasks set by the political leadership,” Tonoyan was quoted as telling the representatives of more than a dozen foreign embassies.
Earlier in the day, Tonoyan and Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian discussed the Karabakh Armenian operation with France’s ambassador to Armenia, Jean-Francois Charpentier.
On Friday, one day before the announcement of the operation, Charpentier issued a statement saying that the French government “will do everything” to help the Armenian side retrieve the bodies of the dead pilots.
The U.S., Russian and French diplomats co-heading the Minsk Group similarly urged Baku last Wednesday to “permit the recovery of the bodies of the victims.”