Planes brought down by missiles since 1973

People stand near the fragments and remains of the Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 that crashed outside Tehran on Jan. 8. (AFP)
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Updated 12 January 2020

Planes brought down by missiles since 1973

  • Ukrainian jetliner shot down by Iran military

Here is a recap of planes hit by missiles over the past four decades:

• July 17, 2014: Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 is shot down over rebel-held eastern Ukraine en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam. All 298 people aboard the Boeing 777 are killed, including 193 Dutch nationals. The Kiev authorities and separatist pro-Russian rebels, who are battling for control of eastern Ukraine, accuse each other of firing the missile that downed the flight.

• March 23, 2007: An Ilyushin Il-76 cargo aircraft belonging to a Belarusian airline is shot down by a rocket shortly after takeoff from the Somalian capital Mogadishu, killing 11 people. The plane was transporting Belarusian engineers and technicians who had traveled to the country to repair another plane hit by a missile two weeks earlier.
• Oct. 4, 2001: 78 people, mostly Israelis, were killed when their Siberia Airlines Tupolev Tu-154, flying from Tel Aviv to Novosibirsk, exploded mid-flight over the Black Sea. The crash happened less than 300 km from the Crimean coast. A week later Kiev admitted that the disaster was due to the accidental firing of a Ukrainian missile.

• July 3, 1988: An Airbus A-300 belonging to Iran Air, flying from Bandar Abbas in Iran to Dubai in the UAE, was shot down in Iran’s territorial waters in the Gulf shortly after takeoff by two missiles fired from a US frigate patrolling the Strait of Hormuz, apparently mistaking it for a fighter aircraft. The 290 passengers on board were killed. The US paid Iran $101.8 million in compensation.

• Sept. 1, 1983: A Boeing 747 belonging to Korean Air (then called Korean Air Lines) was shot down by Soviet fighter jets over the island of Sakhalin, after veering off course. All 269 people on board were killed. Soviet officials acknowledged five days later that they had shot down the South Korean plane.

• Feb. 21, 1973: A Libyan Arab Airline Boeing 727 flying from Tripoli to Cairo was shot down by Israeli fighter jets over the Sinai Desert. All but four of the 112 people on board were killed. The Israeli air force intervened after the Boeing flew over military facilities in the Sinai, then occupied by Israel. Israeli authorities said fighters opened fire when the plane refused to land.


Syrian forces consolidate control of Aleppo, air strikes under way

Updated 31 min 7 sec ago

Syrian forces consolidate control of Aleppo, air strikes under way

  • The advances have sent hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians fleeing toward the border with Turkey
  • Government forces have been fighting since the start of the year to recapture the Aleppo countryside

BEIRUT: The Syrian army said on Monday it had taken full control of dozens of towns in Aleppo’s northwestern countryside and it would press on with its campaign to wipe out militant groups “wherever they are found.”
The advances were made after President Bashar Assad’s forces drove insurgents from the M5 highway linking Aleppo to Damascus, reopening the fastest route between Syria’s two biggest cities for the first time in years in a big strategic gain for Assad.
Backed by heavy Russian air strikes, the government forces have been fighting since the start of the year to recapture the Aleppo countryside and parts of neighboring Idlib province where anti-Assad insurgents hold their last strongholds.
Government air strikes on Monday hit Darat Izza, near the Turkish border about 30 kilometers north of Aleppo city, wounding several civilians and forcing two hospitals to close, according to hospital staff.
Witnesses also reported air strikes in southern areas of Idlib province.
The advances have sent hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians fleeing toward the border with Turkey in the biggest single displacement of the nine-year-old war.
It has also upset the fragile cooperation between Ankara and Moscow, which back opposing factions in the conflict.
Turkey and Russia began a new round of talks in Moscow on Monday after several demands by Ankara that Assad’s forces should back down and a cease-fire be put in place.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that militant attacks on Russian bases and Syrian positions have continued and “it is not possible to leave this unanswered.”
“Troops from Russia and Turkey on the ground in Syria, in Idlib, are in constant contact with each other, looking at changes in the conditions. They have a full understanding of each other,” said Lavrov.
However, the Syrian armed forces said in a statement they would push on with what they called their “sacred and noble task to rid what remains of terrorist organizations wherever on Syria’s geography they are found.”
They had taken full control of dozens of towns in Aleppo’s northwestern countryside, they said.
Syrian transport minister Ali Hammoud announced on Monday the re-opening of Aleppo’s international airport with the first flight, from Damascus to Aleppo, scheduled for Wednesday and flights to Cairo to be announced within days, state news agency SANA reported.
Pro-Damascus Al-Watan newspaper said the M5 highway, a vital artery in northern Syria, would be ready for civilian use by the end of the week. Aleppo city, once Syria’s economic hub, was the scene of some of the most vicious fighting of the war between 2012 and 2016.
The Syrian army had also opened the international roadway from northern Aleppo to the towns of Zahraa and Nubl toward the Turkish border, a military news service run by Lebanon’s Assad-allied pro-Damascus Hezbollah group said.
The insurgent forces arrayed against Assad include Western-backed rebels and jihadist militants.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said his military will drive back Syrian forces if they do not withdraw from Idlib by the end of the month. On Saturday, he appeared to move that date forward, saying Turkey would “handle it” before the end of the month if there was no pull-back.
Alarmed by the new refugee crisis on its border, Turkey has sent thousands of troops and hundreds of convoys of military equipment to reinforce its observation posts in Idlib, established under a 2018 de-escalation agreement with Russia.