Secretary of State John Kerry has released the following statement on the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Eastern Ukraine:
We are horrified by the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. There are no words adequate to express our condolences to the families of the nearly 300 victims. We offer our sympathies and support to the Governments of Malaysia and the Netherlands at this difficult time, as well as to all those whose citizens may have been on board. We are reviewing whether any American citizens were aboard the flight. The United States Government remains prepared to assist with a credible, international investigation any way we can, and we will continue to be in touch with all relevant partners as we seek the facts of what happened today.
The missile was believed to have been fired from a Russian Buk launcher, and the Malaysia Airlines plane appeared to be at least the third aircraft downed in the area since Monday, when a Ukrainian An-26 cargo plane was shot down. Late Wednesday, a Ukrainian Su-25 fighter jet crashed, though it could not be confirmed if it was shot down.
A separatist group tweeted a boast at about the same time the plane went down claiming to have downed a transport plane, but the tweet was quickly deleted. The self-titled “Self-defence forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic” boasted in a June 29 press release of having taken control of Buk missile defense systems. The Buk, or SA-11 missile launchers, have a range of up to 72,000 feet.
CNBC Reports: “US intelligence confirms surface-to-air missile fired at Malaysian plane, divided over origin: WSJ”
A Malaysia Airlines passenger plane carrying 295 people was shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday, Ukrainian officials said, and both the government and the pro-Russia separatists fighting in the region denied any responsibility for downing the aircraft.
Malaysia Airlines said Ukrainian aviation authorities told the company they had lost contact with Flight MH17, a Boeing 777 from Amsterdam carrying 295 people, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) from Tamak waypoint, which is 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the Russia-Ukraine border.
U.S. intelligence officials confirmed that a surface-to-air missile was fired at the Malaysian plane but were divided over origin, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Read more here.
Lead image: www.shuterstock.com
ed note: Placed this map pix I circled [above] so readers can see how plane appeared to be flying over tip of south border of Ukraine from Amsterdam. dr.e