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Iran slams US over ‘intentional’ attack on airliner

written by Hannah Dowling | July 27, 2020

A Mahan Air A340-600 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Iranian authorities have claimed that a US fighter jet intentionally “harassed” an Iranian passenger airliner over Syria, which resulted in the injury of passengers on board.

Mahan Air flight 1152 was en-route to Beirut from Tehran when it reportedly had a close encounter with a US fighter jet.

The incident forced the pilot of the Mahan Air aircraft to quickly change altitude, in an attempt to avoid a collision with the fighter plane, which left panicked passengers on board the airliner with moderate injuries.

Video footage from within the plane after the incident shows one man immobile on the floor of the plane, with another suffering wounds to his nose and face.

Iran has called the incident a “flagrant violation” of international law before the United Nations.

The US military has denied that its F-15 aircraft was ever at an unsafe distance to the airliner, instead stating that the fighter jet was simply performing a visual inspection.

“A US F-15 on a routine air mission in the vicinity of the at [al]-Tanf garrison in Syria conducted a standard visual inspection of a Mahan Air passenger airliner at a safe distance of approximately 1,000 metres (3,280 feet) from the airliner this evening,” Captain Bill Urban, spokesman for US Central Command, said in a statement late on Thursday.


He noted that the inspection was carried out to ensure the safety of personnel at the US military base at al-Tanf, near the border with Iraq and Jordan.

“Once the F-15 pilot identified the aircraft as a Mahan Air passenger plane, the F-15 safely opened distance from the aircraft,” the spokesman added.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi stated that Iranian authorities were continuing to investigate the matter, and added that “necessary political and legal measures will be taken”.

Meanwhile, Ali Bagheri-Kani, a councillor on Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, encouraged passengers on board the airline’s flight to sue the US military for “moral and physical damages”.

“All passengers on Mahan Air Flight 1152, Iranians and non-Iranian, can sue the terrorist US military – commanders, perpetrators, supervisors and deputies – in Iranian courts for moral and physical damages,” he said.


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