During the month-long war in Artsakh, military cargo shipments from Turkey and a number of other countries to Azerbaijan continue. Although Baku has been preparing for large-scale hostilities for a long time, the number of aircraft supplying military equipment and other necessary goods to Azerbaijan has been growing throughout the war.
According to various sources, Azerbaijan currently receives arms from Turkey, Israel and Belarus, and mercenaries are mainly transferred to the war zone from Syria.
The Fact Investigation Platform has gathered information on the supplying countries and frequencies of air cargo transportation to Azerbaijan since September 27. The source is the Swedish website Flightradar24.com, which allows you to get as complete information as possible about the flights, their destinations and the aircraft carrying out the flight.
At the start of the war, Turkish and Azerbaijani sources denied the rumors that Turkey is directly supporting Azerbaijan. However, on October 22, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that if Azerbaijan turned to them, they would send troops to Nagorno Karabakh. On October 23, radars spotted an Airbus A400M-180 belonging to the Turkish Air Force on its way back to Turkey from Azerbaijan via Georgia. On October 24, the aircraft already belonging to the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan flew in the same direction.
A400M-180 aircraft belonging to the Turkish Air Force in the skies of Georgia on the way from Azerbaijan to Turkey
News of the transfer of weapons from Israel to Azerbaijan during the war caused an uproar. The Israeli Supreme Court refused to stop selling weapons to Azerbaijan “due to lack of evidence” of the use of Israeli weapons in Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan, in turn, denied the rumors of receiving weapons from Israel during the hostilities.
Before and during the first days of the war, Azerbaijan and Turkey were openly transporting military equipment, using aircraft belonging to the two countries’ air forces. Such flights were made in both Turkey-Azerbaijan and Israel-Turkey-Azerbaijan directions. During the week before the war, these aircraft made about a dozen flights to Azerbaijan.
Transportation was later carried out by Ilyushin aircraft belonging to Silk Way and Silk Way West sister companies. Later, flights from Turkey to Azerbaijan with civilian cargo aircraft also became commonplace.
You can read related articles by the Fact Investigation Platform here:
- Cargo transportation between Belarus and Azerbaijan
- Military aircraft did fly over Georgia during the war
- Flights from Israel to Azerbaijan: Fruits and vegetables or weapons and ammunition?
- Activity of the Turkish Air Force within Armenia and beyond its border
- Active movements of the air force between Azerbaijan and Turkey and on the Turkish-Armenian border
Ilyushins continue flights
The Azerbaijani Silk Way Airlines own Ilyushin 76 and Ilyushin 76TD cargo aircraft.
At least two Ilyushins of that company have been actively flying in recent months to Turkey and Israel, which boast active military cooperation with Azerbaijan.
Another Ilyushin with registration number 4K-AZ101 flies mainly to other (mostly European) countries, sometimes to Turkey.
Thus, the aircraft with registration number 4K-AZ41 flew from Ukraine to Azerbaijan on September 26 and 27. On October 4-22, the same aircraft made more than a dozen flights, all between Turkey and Azerbaijan. Although some flight tracks are hidden, there has been at least one flight from Dalaman Airport in western Turkey and some from Tekirdag, not far from Istanbul. These airports are used for both civilian and military flights. There are also military bases nearby.
The other Ilyushin, with registration number 4K-AZ40, has made more than a dozen flights in the direction Turkey-Azerbaijan. In addition, on October 7, the aircraft left Baku for the Iraqi capital Baghdad and then returned to Baku. On September 29, the aircraft made a Baku-Tbilisi flight, but the flight track was not preserved in the archives. During this time the aircraft made one more flight to India. The flight tracks are hidden to the extent possible. The last flight of the aircraft was on October 12.
The 4K-AZ60 aircraft flies in these directions, but the flight history is hidden from Flightradar. However, the study of the existing tracks shows that the vast majority of the flights started in Turkey and ended in Azerbaijan.
The other airline, Silk Way West, owned by Aliyev’s Silk Group, makes cargo transportations mainly by Boeing aircraft. After the start of the war, these planes also began to fly in the aforementioned directions.
The Boeing 747-4R7 (F) with registration number 4k-sw008 used to make a limited number of flights to Turkey before the end of September, but in the period between October 6-23 it made 10 flights from Turkey to Azerbaijan. The flights were from Istanbul and Tekirdag. On October 4, 6, 7, 16 and 17 the aircraft made Tel Aviv-Baku and Baku-Tel Aviv flights.
A Boeing with Vp-bcr registration number made flights from Istanbul to Baku on September 28 and October 11. On October 9, the aircraft left Baku for Tel Aviv and returned to Baku the next day.
And on October 15, this aircraft made four flights. First, it departed from Baku to Istanbul, and then returned to Baku. A few hours later, the aircraft was already in Kyiv (the radars do not show how it appeared in Kyiv), from where it flew to Istanbul, and then left Istanbul for Baku. On October 18, an Istanbul-Baku flight was carried out.
The An-124 cargo aircraft belonging to the Ukrainian Antonov Airlines (registration number UR-82072) departed for Baku from the airport of Mazar-i-Sharif city of Afghanistan on October 23. There was a flight in the same direction on October 12. The German military base in Afghanistan is located near this airport.
The UR-82073 aircraft of the same airline flew from Kyiv to Baku on October 17.
It is also noteworthy that the aircraft belonging to the US Armed Forces was flying irregularly for several days in the territory of Georgia, in the territories near the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. It most likely observed the border areas of the two countries.
To sum up, all the above-mentioned flights to Azerbaijan were carried out through the airspace of Georgia, although the government of the country had made a decision to ban the transfer of military equipment through its airspace.