Israeli kamikaze drone-maker probed over alleged live demo on Armenian army
Vahram Baghdasaryan (PHOTOLURE/AFP)
A criminal investigation has been opened into Israel’s Aeronautics Defense Systems for a “deal with a key client” that allegedly involved an attempted bombing of the Armenian military on behalf of Azerbaijan during a live demonstration of an unmanned kamikaze aerial vehicle.
“An investigation is ongoing against Aeronautics Defense Systems Ltd. in regards to a deal with a significant customer,” police said in a statement on Tuesday.
A gag order was placed on all of the details of the investigation, which the police said had been taking place for a number of weeks following emerging allegations.
Aeronautics said in a statement that it would fully cooperate with the probe and make every effort to enable the investigation to be carried out quickly and efficiently.
While police would not reveal the identity of the customer in question, the probe comes on the heels of a decision by Israel's defense ministry to freeze the firm's arms export license after reportedly receiving a complaint about a live demonstration of the drone in Azerbaijan during which a manned position of the Armenian army was targeted.
The existence of the complaint was first reported by the Israeli daily Maariv in August.
According to the complaint, two Israeli drone operators reportedly refused to hit the Armenian position due to it “never carry[ing] out demonstrations on live targets”, with senior representatives of the company eventually operating the aircraft.
The drone reportedly missed its targets and did not result in damage or injuries.
According to the Times of Israel, the company also had reported dealings with Myanmar military junta, which is accused of ethnic cleansing for its treatment of the country’s Muslim Rohingya minority.
Azerbaijan is one of the largest importers of Israeli ammunition, yet due to reported human rights violation amid the regional conflict, Israel has been criticized for its cooperation. Bordering Iran, Azerbaijan is also viewed as an important ally to the Jewish state in its intelligence gathering efforts.
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This is a joke.