‘Missiles Fired At Passenger Jet Over Syria’Posted: April 29, 2013
A passenger jet with 200 people on board is forced to take evasive action as it is targeted by two missiles, says Russian media.
Two missiles have been fired at a Russian passenger plane flying over Syria, according to Russian media.
About 160 people were on board the charter aircraft at the time of the attack, the origin of which remains unknown, a source told the Interfax news agency.
An unnamed source is understood to have said: “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 said the pilots managed to manoeuvre but it was only because they did so that lives were saved.
The source added: “It remains unclear whether the attackers knew whether it was Russian or not.”
The targeted plane belonged to Nordwind Airlines – a Russian charter air carrier.
Russia’s Agency For Tourism later confirmed an incident had taken place, saying: “No one was injured, and the plane was not damaged. The aircraft landed in Kazan as it had been planned.”
Russia’s foreign ministry later issued a statement about the incident.
A spokesman said: “On April 29, at 0455 moscow, a Northern Wind plane was travelling in Syrian airspace from Sharm el Sheikh to Kazan and the pilot crew has recorded military activities on the ground that could have endangered the plane and 159 passengers.
“The Russian authorities are taking urgent measures to clarify the situation including in contact with Syrian authorities.”
The Syrian regime is battling a diverse range of opposition fighters, with some following an ideology akin to that shared by al Qaeda, and others supported by western allies who are seeking to achieve democracy.