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US fighter jets near Iranian passenger plane over Syrian airspace

U.S. Fighter Jets Near Iranian Passenger Plane Over Syrian Airspace

DAMASCUS – Several passengers on an Iranian airline were injured on July 23 in Syria after the pilot changed altitude to avoid collision with a U.S. fighter jet, according to Iranian media.
The U.S. military said its F-15 was on a safe distance.
The Iranian Mahan Aeroplane was on its way from Tehran to Beirut when the pilot carried out a security maneuver, in an incident the Iranian Foreign Ministry said it would be investigated.
Iran’s official IRIB news agency quoted a passenger describing how his head had hit the roof of the plane during the altitude change, and the video showed an elderly passenger lying on the ground.
All passengers left the plane, some with minor injuries, the Beirut airport chief told Reuters.
The plane arrived in Tehran in the early hours of July 24, the Fars news agency reported.
The U.S. Army Central Command, which oversees U.S. troops in the region, said the F-15 aircraft was conducting a visual inspection of the Iranian airliner when it passed near Tanf’s garrison in Syria, where U.S. forces are present.
Captain Bill Urban, the chief spokesman for Central Command, said the F-15 “performed a standard visual inspection of a Mahan Air passenger jet at a safe distance of approximately 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) from the plane tonight.”
“The visual inspection occurred to ensure the safety of coalition personnel in the At Tanf garrison,” said Urban.
“Once the F-15 pilot identified the plane as a Mahan Air passenger jet, the F-15 safely opened the distance to the plane.”
He added that the interception was carried out in accordance with international standards.
The pilot of the airliner contacted the pilots of the plane to warn them to keep a safe distance and identified themselves as Americans, IRIB reported.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said the necessary legal and political actions would be taken, according to the ministry’s website.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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