At least 350 diplomatic Silk Way Airlines (an Azerbaijani state-run company) flights have transported weapons for war conflicts across the world over the last 3 years, the Bulgarian Trud newspaper reports.
According to the report, the state-run airline has carried on-board tens of tons of heavy weapons and ammunition headed to terrorists under the cover of diplomatic flights.
Author of the report Dilyana Gaytandzhieva has received the documents implicating Silk Way Airlines in arms supplies from an anonymous twitter account – Anonymous Bulgaria.
The leaked files include correspondence between the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Azerbaijan to Bulgaria with attached documents for weapons deals and diplomatic clearance for overflight and/or landing in Bulgaria and many other European countries, USA, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, to name a few.
According to the documents, Silk Way Airlines offered diplomatic flights to private companies and arms manufacturers from the US, Balkans, and Israel, as well as to the militaries of Saudi Arabia, UAE, and the military forces of Germany and Denmark in Afghanistan and of Sweden in Iraq.
Diplomatic flights are exempt of checks, air bills, and taxes, meaning that Silk Way airplanes freely transported hundreds of tons of weapons to different locations around the world without regulation. They made technical landings with stays varying from a few hours to up to a day in intermediary locations without any logical reasons such as needing to refuel the planes.
According to the documents, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry has sent instructions to its embassies in Bulgaria and many other European countries to request diplomatic clearance for Silk Way Airlines flights.
“Some of the weapons that Azerbaijan carried on diplomatic flights were used by its military in Nagorno-Karabakh against Armenia. In 2016, Azerbaijan accused Armenia of using white phosphorus. Armenia denied the allegations and in turn accused Azerbaijan of fabrication, as the only piece of evidence was based on a single unexploded grenade found by Azerbaijan’s soldiers. According to the documents from the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Sofia, white phosphorus munitions were carried on a diplomatic flight via Baku the previous year,” the report reads.