The New York Times (USA): Iranian civilian aircraft declined a us military aircraft in Syria

Beirut, Lebanon — on Thursday an Iranian passenger plane EN route from Iran to Beirut, made a sharp turn and landed in Beirut to get away from the approaching American fighter. In the incident several passengers were injured.

The videos, broadcast by Iranian and Pro-Iranian Lebanese media, which stated that the footage was filmed by passengers who see the fighter jet flying alongside a passenger plane of a private Iranian airline Mahan Air.

Passengers began to scream when the plane suddenly hit turbulence. After that one video was visible to the passenger with a bloody face and a broken head, and the man lying on the floor, apparently unconscious. No one helped him. Over the heads of the passengers swaying oxygen masks.

Captain bill urban, a representative of the U.S. Central command, said Thursday that F-15 U.S. air force during the “regular air mission” near a small American military base in southern Syria held a “standard visual inspection passenger airliner Mahan Air”.

American fighters patrolled daily base of al-TANF, which are up to 200 American troops that trained Syrian militants from the group “al Mahavir-Brand” fighting against the “Islamic state” (banned in Russia organization — approx. ed.).

Air the incident occurred after the incident in early July, a series of mysterious bombings and attacks on civilian and military infrastructure of Iran, including a complex enrichment of nuclear fuel. Iranian officials believe some of the recent attacks and sabotage, though not saying whether they suspect the United States.

Captain urban said that the rapprochement with the Iranian plane was held at a “safe distance — about a thousand feet” was done to “ensure employee safety coalition”.

“As soon as the pilot of the F-15 identified the airliner as a passenger aircraft of the airline Mahan Air,’ said the captain, urban, — the F-15 moved away from the plane.” He said that the approach was conducted “in accordance with international standards”.

An American military official said that the second aircraft USAF F-15 was at least two miles from the airliner Mahan Air, but only one of the American planes got about a thousand meters.

Iranian state television, citing an interview with Mahan Air pilot, reported that fighters were American.

Lebanese media reported that an elderly passenger was taken to hospital associated with Hezbollah — the Iranian-backed Lebanese militia and political party. Civil aviation authority of Lebanon said that the plane was carrying 150 passengers, some of whom received minor injuries.

The American base in al-Tape located near the southern border of Syria with Jordan and Iraq. Its strategic goal is to prevent the control of Iran over a land route through Iraq to Syria and Lebanon.

The incident could heighten tensions between Iran and the United States, which have strict campaign of sanctions and carry out other actions against Iran — the administration of trump calls their strategy the “maximum pressure”

Abbas Mousavi, the representative of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Iran, said that Iran has contacted the Swiss Embassy in Tehran represents us interests in Iran, to warn that the United States will be held accountable if something happens with the flight Mahan Air. Later, the aircraft left Beirut without passengers to return to Iran.

Mousavi said that the mission of Iran to the UN also delivered a message from UN Secretary-General antónio Guterres. “We’re investigating the details of this incident and after receiving complete information will take the necessary legal and political measures,” said Mousavi.

Some analysts said that the episode with Mahan Air seem to fit into the scheme of recent efforts to destabilize Iran.

“This incident is significant, said Nader Hashemi, Director of the Center for middle East studies University of Denver. — This happens on the background of the recent explosions in Iran, which are attributed to Israel, acting with the blessing of the United States.”

But left unclear was whether the actions of military aircraft deliberate.

Hesameddin Ashena, senior Advisor to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, tweeted: “Those who love life their leaders, do not play with the lives of the Iranian passengers.”

In 1988 the American warship Vincennes shot down an Iranian passenger plane in the skies over the Persian Gulf. Onboard the liner performing flight 655 Iran Air airline, was carrying 290 people. The United States later called it a “tragic and regrettable accident” and subsequently paid millions of dollars to settle a lawsuit that Iran has submitted to the international court of justice.