US Ambassador Calls Special Operation A ‘Respectful Step’

US Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern

YEREVAN (Mediamax)—The U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John Heffern, on Saturday called the Artsakh Army’s special operation to retrieve the bodies of three slain pilots, whose unarmed helicopter was downed by Azeri forces, a “respectful step.”

While speaking to members of the press, Heffern said that the U.S. mission in Armenia has followed the developments around the incident very carefully and has kept in touch with Washington.

“What impressed me the most from my meeting with the Armenian Minister of Defense was the fact that he was focused on retrieval of the remains of the three killed airmen. And that’s exactly what he was able to do. I have a great respect for him for his focus on that, and for his ability to get that done,” Heffern said.

Heffern said that three days after the downing of the helicopter, Armenia’s Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian asked the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmen to urge Azerbaijan to allow for the safe retrieval of the remains of the Armenian servicemen.

“I talked on the phone to [U.S. Co-Chair] James Warlick, later we talked to his French and Russian counterparts, and, probably the next day, the co-chairs issued a statement. I was pleased that we were able to do the specific thing that the Minister had asked us to do. I don’t know whether the co-chairs have helped with that. But we were able to do what Mr. Ohanian asked us to do,” said Heffern.

On Friday, Armenia’s President Serzh Sarkisian met with the Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Nikolay Bordyuzha in Yerevan, where they discussed the downing of the Artsakh Air Force helicopter and its implications.

According to Bordyuzha, the incident will be discussed during the upcoming meeting of the Collective Security Council of the CSTO in Moscow.

On Nov. 12, an unarmed Mi-24 helicopter belonging to the Artsakh Air Force was shot down by Azerbaijani armed forces while conducting an exercise flight. The area where the helicopter was shot down stayed under fire from Azerbaijani forces continuously following the downing of the aircraft. A special operation was eventually carried out to retrieve the remains of the slain pilots. The Commander of the staff was the Major Sergey Sahakyan, accompanied by Senior Lieutenant Sarkis Nazaryan and Lieutenant Azat Sahakyan.


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  1. Areg said:

    Recognize the Armenian Genocide Ambassador Heffern and urge Mr. Obama to do the same and believe me you will once for all stop the Turk from continuing these murderous acts. Otherwise, everything else is a lip service.

  2. Hratch said:

    Thank you, at least you acknowledged the brave solders who made the daring operation,. The backstabbing Russians have not even acknowledged the fact that it was their weapons that brought down the craft. They have yet to apologize for supplying the weapons to the Azeris.

  3. Marshall said:

    Mr. Heffern it is our obligation to stand with Armenia
    A Nobel nation that has given a lot to humanity
    And all it asks for is peace and justice in the hands of barbarians.

  4. Hovik said:

    Dear Sirs,

    I have recently subscribed myself in receiving your daily news .

    I would like to send my regards to you and tell you my thanks for your efforts in broadcasting the news about Armenia and its current matters .

    Keep going ahead .

  5. Alex Postallian said:


  6. vahagn said:

    How can you publish such garbage?
    All so called groups have failed in the last 23 years.
    United States has failed Armenia for almost 100 years now. Where is the treaty of Sevres ? If US is serios it should enforce treaty of Sevres immediately!
    God knows they shove their yankee noses everywhere else don’t they?
    Otherwise kick this moron back to his sh@@hole