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Murky Azerbaijani Flights to Syria: Whistleblowing or Black PR?

One of Silk Way Airlines’ IL-76 strategic airlifters. (Photo: Silk Way Airlines)

Earlier this summer, the Bulgarian daily newspaper Trud published a sensational report, based on purportedly leaked files from the Azerbaijani Embassy in Sofia. Citing those leaked files, the Trud report alleged that Azerbaijan was abusing diplomatic immunity to engage in arms smuggling via the state-run Silk Way Airlines.
 
According to Trud’s account of the leaked files, Azerbaijan, at the behest of the United States and anyone who would pay, smuggled arms to militant groups in Syria and around the world by allegedly listing at least 350 Silk Way cargo flights as diplomatic missions.
 
Mainstream Azerbaijani press and the Azerbaijani government did not respond to the Trud report, but it was heavily covered by independent Azerbaijani media and in the Armenian press.
 

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Mike Runey is a Programme Officer for Eurasia at Civil Rights Defenders. He writes here in his personal capacity and the views expressed here are his own.

Murky Azerbaijani Flights to Syria: Whistleblowing or Black PR?

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