Planes Brought Down By Missiles Since 1973

Rescue teams work amidst debris after a Ukrainian plane carrying 176 passengers crashed near Imam Khomeini airport in the Iranian capital Tehran early in the morning on January 8, 2020, killing everyone on board. AFP

 

US President Donald Trump on Thursday said he had “suspicions” about the cause of the Ukrainian Airlines Boeing 747 crash outside Tehran on Wednesday.

Britain and Canada meanwhile said they had received information suggesting the doomed airliner with 176 passengers and crew on board was hit by an Iranian missile.

Here is a recap of other planes hit by missiles over the past four decades.

298 killed, Ukraine

July 17, 2014: Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam.

All 298 people aboard the Boeing 777 are killed, including 193 Dutch nationals.

The Kiev authorities and separatist pro-Russian rebels, who are battling for control of eastern Ukraine, accuse each other of firing the missile that downed the flight.

11 killed, Somalia

March 23, 2007: An Ilyushin II-76 cargo aircraft belonging to a Belarusian airline is shot down by a rocket shortly after takeoff from the Somalian capital Mogadishu, killing 11 people. The plane was transporting Belarusian engineers and technicians who had travelled to the country to repair another plane hit by a missile two weeks earlier.

78 killed, Black Sea

October 4, 2001: 78 people, mostly Israelis, were killed when their Russian Sibir Tupolev-154, flying from Tel Aviv to Novosibirsk, exploded in mid-flight over the Black Sea. The crash happened less than 300 kilometres (186 miles) from the Crimean coast. A week later Kiev admitted that the disaster was due to the accidental firing of a Ukrainian missile.

290 killed, Persian Gulf

July 3, 1988: An Airbus A-300 belonging to Iran Air, flying from Bandar Abbas in Iran to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, was shot down in Iran’s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf shortly after take-off by two missiles fired from a US frigate patrolling the Strait of Hormuz, apparently mistaking it for a fighter aircraft. The 290 passengers on board were killed. The United States paid Iran $101.8 million in compensation.

269 killed, Sakhalin

September 1, 1983: A South Korean Boeing 747 of Korean Air was shot down by Soviet fighter jets over the island of Sakhalin, after veering off course. Some 269 passengers and crew members were killed. Soviet officials acknowledged five days later that they had shot down the South Korean plane.

– 108 killed, Sinai Dessert –
February 21, 1973: A Libyan Arab Airline Boeing 727 flying from Tripoli to Cairo was shot down by Israeli fighter jets over the Sinai dessert. All but four of the 112 people on board were killed. The Israeli air force intervened after the Boeing flew over military facilities in the Sinai, then occupied by Israel. The Israeli authorities said fighters opened fire when the plane refused to land.

 

Israeli Strikes Used 28 Planes, Fired 70 Missiles – Russia

FILE PHOTO                                                                                                                        Rami al SAYED / AFP

 

Israel’s strikes on Syria saw 28 planes take part in raids with a total of around 70 missiles fired, Russia’s defence ministry said on Thursday.

“28 Israeli F-15 and F-16 aircraft were used in the attack, which released around 60 air-to-ground missiles over various parts of Syria. Israel also fired more than 10 tactical ground-to-ground missiles,” the ministry said in a statement, quoted by Interfax news agency.

Russia said Syria’s air defence systems shot down more than half of the missiles, while the extent of the damage was still being assessed.

“The locations of Iranian armed groups and also the positions of the Syrian army’s air defences in the area around Damascus and in the south of Syria were attacked,” the ministry said.

Israel carried out the raids after it said around 20 rockets were fired from Syria at its forces in the occupied Golan Heights overnight.

It blamed the rocket fire on Iran’s Al-Quds force, adding that Israel’s anti-missile system intercepted four of the projectiles while the rest did not land in its territory.

On Thursday Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov called for “restraint on all sides”, adding that Moscow was “concerned” at the development.

The strikes came a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held talks in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose country has provided massive military and diplomatic backing to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s seven-year civil war.

At the meeting Putin also expressed “deep concern” over US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from a key 2015 Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday, a decision Netanyahu supported.

On Wednesday the Russian leader called the situation in the Middle East “unfortunately very acute”.

Netanyahu had told Putin that “it is the right of every state, certainly the right of Israel, to take the necessary steps in order to protect itself from (Iranian) aggression)”, his office said in a statement Wednesday, referring to Iran’s presence in Syria.

AFP

U.S. Approves Sale Of Counter-Insurgency Planes To Nigeria

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/www.moody.af.

The United States has okayed the sale of 12 Embraer A-29 Super Tucano aircraft to Nigeria.

This follows the promise made by U.S. President Donald Trump to President Muhammadu Buhari earlier this year that he would support Nigeria in its fight against terrorism.

The Associated Press reported that the State Department notified the U.S. Congress on Wednesday about the plan, adding that Congress is expected to okay the move.

According to the report, officials briefed on the matter said the aircraft will be sold to Nigeria by the Sierra Nevada Corp.

The Embraer Super Tucano is said to be a light attack aircraft designed for counter-insurgency, close air support, and aerial reconnaissance missions in low-threat environments.

Nigeria has been trying to acquire high-tech planes for a while now. Efforts to purchase the planes from the U.S. failed as a result of concerns about alleged human rights abuses by the Nigerian military.

Following the bombing of the Internally Displaced Persons Camp in Rann on January 17, Barack Obama, who was President at the time suspended the planned sale.

Trump, however, revived the deal as part of his plan to arm countries to fight terrorism.

News of the plan comes about three weeks after the U.S. State Department in a report to Congress expressed concern over what it said is the inability of the Nigerian military to secure territories recaptured from Boko Haram insurgents.

It also comes amid a resurgence in attacks by Boko Haram terrorists. On July 25, the insurgents had ambushed oil workers in Borno killing over 40 persons including troops and abducting some lecturers from the University of Maiduguri.

The sale is, however, expected to motivate the military, while also equipping them to better deal with the insurgents who are also seeking new ways to spread terror and who are still holding hundreds captive.

Militants Armed With Rocket Grenades Attack Kabul International Airpot

Video still shows Afghan security personnel on vehicles as an area near the Kabul airport comes under attackMilitants armed with rocket-propelled grenades attacked Kabul International Airport in the Afghan capital on Thursday in one of the most audacious assaults on the facility, used by both civilians and the military, in a year.

The attack on the airport comes at a time of great uncertainty for Afghanistan as votes from the second round of a disputed presidential election are to be recounted. The poll is meant to mark Afghanistan’s first democratic transfer of power.

The attack lasted about four hours after four unidentified militants armed with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades opened fire on the airport from the roof of a building just to its north.

“Four terrorists were killed by police special forces. The area is being cleared now, there are no casualties to our forces,” said Interior Ministry Spokesman Sediq Sediqqi.

The airport is home to a major operational base for NATO-led forces that have been fighting Taliban and other insurgents for 12 years and is bristling with soldiers and police, guard towers and several lines of security checkpoints.

Militants fire rockets into the airport almost every week, causing little damage, but frontal attacks on the heavily guarded facility are rare and represent an ambitious target for insurgents. The attack was similar in tactics to last year’s assault on the airport, when seven Taliban insurgents including suicide bombers attacked after taking up positions inside a partially constructed building nearby.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest attack.

A Kabul airport official told Reuters all flights had been diverted to other cities. In such circumstances, passenger planes are immediately diverted to other Afghan cities such as Mazar-i-Sharif in the north or Herat in the west.

“Due to the closeness of the attack to the runway, Kabul airport is now closed to all flights,” the official said. Planes could be heard circling above Kabul as the attack unfolded.

On Tuesday, a car bomb detonated in a crowded market killed 43 people and wounded at least 74 in the eastern province of Paktika, close to Afghanistan’s porous border with Pakistan.