By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier
Last month, I wrote about Bulgarian journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva’s revelations that Azerbaijan’s state-run Silk Way Airlines had shipped under diplomatic cover 350 planeloads of heavy weapons and ammunition to terrorist groups in Syria and many other countries in the last three years.
On Aug. 24, Dilyana tweeted: “I just got fired for telling the truth about weapons supplies for terrorists in Syria on diplomatic flights.”
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 she would not provide any further details. Two hours later, she got a phone call from her newspaper, Trud Daily, telling her that she was 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; this is the solution.”
Confirming Dilyana’s revelations is an article by Thierry Meyssan, in the sott.net website, reporting that Operation Sycamore involves at least 17 states and represents 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 — ex-FBI translator and founder of National Security Whistleblowers Coalition — revealing that “Azerbaijan, under Pres. 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.