Azerbaijan Forces Bulgaria to Fire Reporter Who Exposed Arms Shipments to Terrorists


Last month, I wrote about Bulgarian journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva’s revelations that Azerbaijan’s state-run Silk Way Airlines had shipped 350 planeloads of heavy weapons and ammunition to terrorist groups in Syria and many other countries in the last three years, under diplomatic cover.

On Aug. 24, Dilyana tweeted: “I just got fired for telling the truth about weapons supplies for terrorists in Syria on diplomatic flights.”

Dilyana Gaytandzhieva, Watercolor by Milena Gaytandzhieva (2017)

Dilyana posted on her Facebook page that she was fired due to pressure on the government of Bulgaria by Azerbaijan, as she was about to leave for Syria to continue her investigation.

In an interview with Armenpress, Dilyana said that before her firing, she was called by the Bulgarian Special Security Agency and asked about her sources of information for her revelations. She replied that her source was the website of the Embassy of Azerbaijan, which was hacked, but would not provide any further details. Two hours later, she got a phone call from her newspaper, Trud Daily, telling her that she had been dismissed.

After she published her article, Dilyana revealed that the Azeri Embassy urged the Bulgarian government to investigate her; as a result, she was fired from her job.

The daring Bulgarian journalist, however, refuses to remain silent. She told Armenpress that no one can stop her from continuing her investigation: “They couldn’t stop me two months ago; they couldn’t stop me yesterday to speak out. I just posted on social media. They can’t force an independent journalist to keep silent. I’m not obliged to anybody. I’m obliged to tell the truth to the people, this is my job.”

Dilyana stressed that Bulgaria was well informed about these illegal weapons’ shipments, since she had all the documents proving that the Bulgarian government, several European countries, the United States, and many others had given their approval for this secret and illegal operation.

The Bulgarian journalist urged the United Nations to launch an investigation against Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, the United States, Saudi Arabia, and other countries. In addition, Dilyana appealed for support from independent journalists and the public at large. She emphasized: “I am not the first and last journalist to be fired for doing their job. I don’t have high expectations from the mainstream media, because they have their political agenda, their objectives, and their policy. What I expect is to be able to spread this information worldwide not by the mainstream media.”

Dilyana also revealed that Azerbaijan paid Bulgarian journalists to publish articles favorable to Baku. “I can give you a fact obtained from the leaked documents after the cyber-attack on the Azerbaijani Embassy. The Azerbaijani Embassy pays money to journalists for articles in favor of Azerbaijan or articles ordered to be published by Azerbaijan.”

Dilyana insisted that she is determined to continue her work: “I’m going to set up my own on-line media, because no one in Bulgaria will now agree to publish my investigations. I will not be offered a job in the Bulgarian media. So I think about establishing my own [media outlet]; this is the solution.”

Confirming Dilyana’s revelations is an article by Thierry Meyssan, in the website, reporting that Operation Sycamore involves at least 17 states and involves several tens of thousands of tons of weapons: “Over the last seven years, several billion dollars’ worth of armament has been illegally introduced into Syria…. Numerous documents attest to the fact that the traffic was organized by General David Petraeus, first of all in public, via the CIA, of which he was the director, then privately, via the financial company KKR with the aid of certain senior civil servants…. New elements now show the secret of Azerbaijan in the evolution of the war [in Syria]…. While Bulgaria was one of the main arms exporters to Syria, it received help from Azerbaijan.”

Meyssan, in his article, quotes Sibel Edmonds—an ex-FBI translator and founder of National Security Whistleblowers Coalition—revealing that “Azerbaijan, under President Heydar Aliyev, from 1997 to 2001, hosted in Baku the number 2 of Al-Qaida, Ayman al-Zawahiri. This was done at the request of the CIA. Although officially wanted by the FBI, the man who [was] then number 2 of the international jihadist network travelled regularly in NATO planes to Afghanistan, Albania, Egypt and Turkey. He also received frequent visits from Prince Bandar ben Sultan of Saudi Arabia.”

The Armenian-American community should invite the distinguished Bulgarian journalist Dilyana to the United States in order to publicize through lectures and press conferences her sensational revelations about Azerbaijan’s illegal weapons shipments to terrorists.

Harut Sassounian

Harut Sassounian

California Courier Editor
Harut Sassounian is the publisher of The California Courier, a weekly newspaper based in Glendale, Calif. He is the president of the Armenia Artsakh Fund, a non-profit organization that has donated to Armenia and Artsakh one billion dollars of humanitarian aid, mostly medicines, since 1989 (including its predecessor, the United Armenian Fund). He has been decorated by the presidents of Armenia and Artsakh and the heads of the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches. He is also the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.


  1. Well done for reporting these crimes of weaponry and shame on those countries who have shown absolute no regard for the mainstream public who want nothing else but peace. You cannot have peace unless these criminals are brought to justice. Stop the arms sales. Unfortunately money counts and the human suffering continues. Now is that justice????????????????? Shame on them.

  2. As a citizen of the USA, I wonder if Bulgaria borrows the last two lines of our national anthem anywhere in its own national rhetoric: “the land of the brave, and the home of the free”?

  3. If a thing is not written about, it doesn’t exist. That is why all regimes, overtly oppressive or not, put so much effort into controlling what news media outlets report and what investigative journalists can and can’t look at.

  4. I asked Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Vancouver why there was no reporting of this on the CBC website. They never wrote back. CBC may have some good people but it is a taxpayer funded media system we are forced to pay into.

    It is distressing to learn that Canada is almost as corrupt as some other countries.

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