An Israeli made “suicide drone” has allegedly been spotted over the battlefield where Azerbaijan and Armenia have clashed in recent days, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.
Video uploaded to YouTube reportedly shows what appears to be the IAI Harop unmanned aerial vehicle flying over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh area. Nagorno-Karabakh is an ethnic Armenian enclave inside Azerbaijan that was overtaken by Armenia during a six-year war that ended in 1994.
While neither Israeli nor Azerbaijani officials will talk about it, the countries are believed to have a robust security relationship. According to foreign media reports, Israel has sold the drone to India and Azerbaijan.
— Joseph Dempsey (@JosephHDempsey) April 5, 2016
The Washington Post report said the “kamikaze” unmanned aircraft destroys targets by ramming into them. The aircraft’s distinct wing shape and nose have lead observers to speculate that it is indeed the Israeli made IAI weapon.
The report also said that it targeted a bus full of “Armenian volunteers,” killing seven since fighting broke out over the past several days.
Clashes erupted between troops from Azerbaijan and the rebel Nagorno-Karabakh region on Saturday, the two sides said, disputing who had violated a fragile ceasefire again.
Nagorno-Karabakh’s military also said that Armenian anti-aircraft forces downed an Azeri helicopter, although the report was denied by Azerbaijan.
Nagorno-Karabakh, which lies inside Azerbaijan but is controlled by ethnic Armenians, has run its own affairs with heavy military and financial backing from Armenia since a separatist war ended in 1994.
Both sides report numerous casualties, accusing each other on Saturday of violating a ceasefire, a sign that the two-decade-old conflict which has left some 30,000 people dead is far from a peaceful resolution.
Similar violence was reported last month.
“The enemy, using tanks, artillery and aviation made attempts to get deep into the defense lines of the Nagorno-Karabakh Army of Defense and capture tactical positions. The enemy was thwarted,” the Armenian Defense Ministry said in a statement.