Nov. 9 (UPI) — The Azerbaijan army on Monday acknowledged its forces had shot down a Russian Mi-24 helicopter in Armenian airspace, killing two crew members, calling it an accident.

“The Azerbaijani facet apologizes to the Russian facet in reference to this tragic incident, which is unintended and was not directed towards the Russian facet,” the Ministry of Overseas Affairs mentioned in an announcement.

The ministry additionally expressed condolences to the households of the lifeless crew members and mentioned Azerbaijan “declares its readiness to pay applicable compensation.”

The helicopter was shot down by a human-held surface-to-air missile in Armenian airspace close to the settlement of Yeraskh, close to the border with the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic in Azerbaijan. The Mi-24 was “accompanying a automobile convoy of the 102nd Russian army base,” the ministry mentioned.

“The Russian Mi-24 helicopter was downed within the airspace over the territory of the Republic of Armenia exterior the fight zone,” Russian Protection Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov advised TASS, the state information company.

In October, Russia agreed to help Armenia if the Azeri clashes spilled into its territory, underneath a 1997 treaty between the 2 nations.

Armenia and Azerbaijan have been preventing since Sept. 27, with Armenia calling for the Nagorno-Karabakh territory to be acknowledged internationally as an impartial state. Azerbaijan accuses it of eager to seize extra land.

Armenians administer the disputed area, which is situated inside Azerbaijan’s borders. A number of cease-fire agreements have damaged down and each side have accused the opposite of airstrikes on civilian targets.

Azerbaijan has accepted assist from Turkey, together with shopping for armed TB2 drones bought by Baykar, owned by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law, Selcuk Bayraktar, and his household, in accordance with the Monetary Occasions.

Azerbaijan mentioned Monday the accident occurred as a result of the flight befell at midnight, at low altitude, exterior the air protection radar detection zone. Russian Air Pressure helicopters haven’t been seen beforehand within the space, the Azeri authorities mentioned.

However Armenia’s authorities mentioned Azerbaijan was providing “false and groundless” makes an attempt to justify the assault and hinted that Russia is likely to be drawn into the battle.

“We’re satisfied that the usage of drive towards the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation will obtain an sufficient response,” the Armenian international ministry mentioned in an announcement Monday.