'Missiles fired at' Russian plane with 159 passengers onboard flying over SyriaSubmitted by cooper11 on Mon, 04/29/2013 - 17:15
Two missiles were reportedly fired at a Russian plane with at least 159 passengers on board that was flying over Syrian territory. Russian officials admit the jet faced danger, but are not talking of a targeted attack.
The news broke in on Monday as Interfax, citing “an informed source in Moscow,” reported that a Russian passenger plane was attacked.
“Syrian [officials] informed us that on Monday morning, unidentified forces launched two ground-to-air missiles which exploded in the air very close to a civilian aircraft belonging to a Russian airline,” the source told the Russian agency.
The pilots reportedly managed to maneuver the plane in time however, “saving the lives of passengers.”
It is believed the aircraft was intentionally targeted, “but it remains unclear whether the attackers knew it was Russian or not,” the source added.
However, Russian officials, though admitting the plane might have been endangered, are not yet talking of a targeted attack.
The Russian Foreign Ministry’s said on its website the plane’s crew at 4.55 PM Moscow time (12.55 GMT) “detected battle action on the ground that, according to the crew, could constitute a threat to the 159 passengers on board the plane.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry is now “taking emergency measures to clarify all the circumstances of this situation, including making contact with the Syrian authorities,” the ministry’s spokesperson Aleksandr Lukashevich said.
The plane that was allegedly targeted belonged to Nordwind Airlines – a Russian charter air carrier – and was identified as an Airbus A320. On April 29 it was en route to the city of Kazan, in Russia’s republic of Tatarstan, from Egypt's resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh.