Home » Canadian Armenian group calls for ban on army drone tech exports to Turkey

Canadian Armenian group calls for ban on army drone tech exports to Turkey

by newsking24

Canada’s Armenian group is asking on Ottawa to ban the export of refined Canadian drone expertise to Turkey following reviews that Ankara has deployed dozens of unmanned plane in fight in opposition to Armenian forces within the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh area of Azerbaijan.

Fierce preventing between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces erupted within the early hours of Sunday alongside your complete Line of Contact. The line has separated the 2 sides since a 1994 ceasefire paused the battle over the breakaway Armenian-populated area.

Fighting raged for the third day on Tuesday between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces within the mountainous enclave. Dozens have been killed and lots of extra injured in heavy clashes that concerned the usage of artillery, missiles, tanks, plane and fight drones by each side.

Sevag Belian, govt director of the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC), urged the federal authorities to “immediately halt all Canadian military aid to Turkey.” He additionally referred to as on the Liberal authorities to sentence Azerbaijan’s actions.

“The attack is a pre-planned war against the peaceful civilians of Artsakh,” Belian stated, referring to the Armenian identify for Nagorno-Karabakh. “Recent public statements also indicate that the attacks are being carried out in cooperation with the Republic of Turkey. We require a stern condemnation of Azerbaijan’s actions.”

A person speaks along with his baby, wounded throughout shelling, in Stepanakert within the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan, on Sept. 28, 2020. (Areg Balayan/PAN Photo by way of Associated Press)

A joint assertion launched by almost two dozen Canadian Armenian organizations on Monday night additionally condemned Turkey’s unequivocal help for Azerbaijan’s army actions.

“Considering that those responsible for the genocide of 1915, the ultimate crime against humanity, have the audacity to return once more to continue to commit their unpunished crime of 1915 against Armenians, we are morally under the obligation to unite all our means, be it legal, political or financial, in order to support the people of Armenia and Karabakh,” the assertion stated, referring to the 1915 Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey.

“We, in particular, as Canadian citizens fully engaged in the wellbeing of our beloved and peace-loving country of Canada, expect our government to forcefully condemn the unjustified Azeri-Turkish aggression, which threatens the peace of an entire critical region of the world, as well as to demand the immediate cessation of all hostilities.”

Armenia’s defence ministry reported this morning {that a} Turkish F-16 fighter jet based mostly in Azerbaijan shot down an Armenian Su-25 shut floor help plane deep inside Armenia correct, killing the pilot — an indication that the preventing is spreading and Turkish involvement is getting extra critical.

Earlier, Armenia’s international ministry additionally reported the primary dying linked to the battle in Armenia correct — a civilian it stated was killed in shelling and drone assaults within the city of Vardenis, greater than 20 km from Nagorno-Karabakh.

Turkey’s communications director Fahrettin Altun referred to as the report of a Turkish fighter taking down an Armenian plane over Armenian territory “absolutely untrue.” 

“Armenia should withdraw from the territories under its occupation instead of resorting to cheap propaganda tricks,” Altun stated Tuesday.

For greater than 30 years, Armenia has supported Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians of their combat for independence from Azerbaijan and eventual reunification with Armenia. Authorities within the Armenian capital of Yerevan have accused Ankara of direct involvement within the preventing on the aspect of their ethnic kin in Azerbaijan.

“Turkish military experts are fighting side-by-side with Azerbaijan, who are using Turkish weapons, including UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) and warplanes,” the Armenian ministry of international affairs stated in a media assertion Monday.

In this handout picture taken from a footage launched by Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, Azerbaijan’s forces destroy an Armenian anti-aircraft system on the contact line of the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan. (Armenian Defense Ministry by way of Associated Press)

Authorities in Azerbaijan have launched movies purporting to indicate Azerbaijani army drones precision-targeting greater than a dozen Armenian air defence models and different army gear.

But specialists consulted by Radio Canada International stated the movies truly present Turkish-produced drones outfitted with Canadian sensors and laser concentrating on programs being deployed in opposition to Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Kelsey Gallagher, a researcher with the disarmament group Project Ploughshares who has studied Canadian exports of drone expertise to Turkey, stated the drone footage launched by the Azerbaijani army seems to indicate interface pictures which can be equivalent to the Turkish TB2 Bayraktar drones — which use Canadian-produced WESCAM optical sensors and laser concentrating on programs.

A report by Forbes journal’s defence correspondent Sebastien Roblin got here to the identical conclusion.

Exports break Canadian legislation, says Ploughshares

Last week, Project Ploughshares referred to as on the federal authorities to ban exports of Canadian-produced sensors and laser concentrating on expertise used on the Turkish army drones deployed by Ankara throughout a number of battle zones within the Middle East and Libya.

Project Ploughshares stated the multimillion-dollar exports of high-tech sensors and concentrating on expertise produced by L3Harris WESCAM in Burlington, Ont. violate Canada’s home legal guidelines and its worldwide obligations below the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which the Trudeau authorities agreed to virtually precisely a yr in the past.

“Canada’s export of WESCAM sensors to Turkey poses a substantial risk of facilitating human suffering, including violations of human rights and international humanitarian law,” Project Ploughshares stated in a report launched final Tuesday.

Officials at Global Affairs Canada stated they’re investigating claims that Turkey might have transferred army drones outfitted with Canadian expertise to Azerbaijan.

Canadian tech ‘integral’ to Turkish drones: researcher

L3Harris WESCAM, a Burlington, Ont.-based subsidiary of U.S. defence large L3Harris, is among the world’s main producers and exporters of electro-optical/infra-red (EO/IR) imaging and concentrating on sensor programs, with roughly $500 million in annual exports, in keeping with the Project Ploughshares report.

“These sensors are integral for their ability to conduct drone warfare, which they’ve done increasingly … in the past few years across several conflict zones,” Gallagher advised Radio Canada International final week. “If the exports of these sensors were completely halted, then Turkey would not have the sensors necessary to conduct modern airstrikes.”

Exports of WESCAM sensor programs have continued regardless of Ottawa’s freeze on defence exports to Turkey, which was introduced in October of 2019 after Ankara’s incursion into Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Syria, Gallagher stated.

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says Canada finds reviews of large-scale warfare in Azerbaijan “deeply concerning.” (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

On Monday, Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne and his British counterpart Dominic Raab issued a joint assertion saying they’re troubled by reviews of large-scale army motion alongside the Line of Contact.

“Reports of shelling of settlements and civilian casualties are deeply concerning,” the assertion stated. “We call for the immediate end of hostilities, respect for the ceasefire agreement and the protection of civilians.

Conservative foreign affairs critic Michael Chong said “there will be no army answer to this battle.”

“Conservatives proceed to observe the conduct of the Turkish authorities, and we will probably be intently following the Liberal authorities’s dealing with of this case because it develops,” he said in an emailed statement.

The Trudeau government needs to remind Turkey of its international obligations as a NATO ally, particularly when it comes to the alliance’s shared commitment to the international rules-based order, Chong added.

“The Liberal authorities should guarantee Canada’s arms exports are used appropriately and in accordance with Canada’s nationwide pursuits, in addition to in accordance with the rules of the NATO treaty,” he said.

Officials at the Turkish embassy in Ottawa refused to comment on reports of Turkish drones with Canadian sensors being used by Azerbaijan, saying Turkey’s stance in the dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh “is according to worldwide legislation.”

“Armenia is an occupier of Azerbaijan’s lands. It has not solely occupied Nagorno-Karabakh for many years but additionally carried out common provocations in opposition to Azerbaijan,” the Turkish embassy said in an emailed statement.

“We condemn Armenian aggression within the strongest phrases and name on all smart nations to face with Azerbaijan in its rightful wrestle in opposition to international occupation and assaults.”

Officials on the Azerbaijani embassy in Ottawa didn’t reply to requests for remark by Radio Canada International.

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