The war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh border region appears to be spinning out into a broader conflict as footage of increasingly heavy and advanced military hardware is appearing.
As of late Thursday there are reports that Armenia's Russia-supplied S-300 systems are active near the capital of Yerevan. New viral video circulating on military channels purports to show S-300 missiles intercepting a possible enemy drone or inbound rocket in the vicinity of Yerevan.
Specifically, the event is being widely said to have occurred over Abovyan, which lies about 16 kilometers northeast of Yerevan in the Kotayk Province.
Within an hour of the footage appearing online, Armenia's Ministry of Defense seems to have confirmed the dramatic escalation.
An enemy drone was downed by the air defence forces in the air space of #Armenia, Kotayk region.— MoD of Armenia 🇦🇲 (@ArmeniaMODTeam) October 1, 2020
"An enemy drone was downed by the air defense forces in the air space of Armenia, Kotayk region," the Armenian MoD wrote on Twitter.
Earlier in the day a separate Azerbaijan drone intercept video closer to the center of fighting in Karabakh was posted via official Armenian military channels.
Azerbaijan has a significant and advanced drone program, having been supplied for years by Israeli defense firms, including so-called Kamikaze drones.
These 'suicide drones' appear to be in use by Azerbaijan's army:
Footage from Armenian soldiers shows the moment an Azerbaijani IAI Harop loitering munition (suicide drone) targeted what is claimed to be a troop transport bus in Vardenis, Armenia. pic.twitter.com/OzTgF5bHyg— Kyle Glen (@KyleJGlen) October 1, 2020
Though Azerbaijan's security and arms relationship with Israel has been documented over the past few years, it's unclear the degree to which Israeli intelligence or military advisors are still present in Azerbaijan, potentially still assisting with the deadly drone program.
However, it's unclear what type of drone was intercepted near the vicinity of Yerevan on Thursday.
There are also emerging reports that two or more projectiles may have been intercepted near the Armenian capital.