What happened in Syrian skies on Thursday? Denouncing an aggressive maneuver by foreign fighters near an Iranian airliner, Tehran initially accused Israel of an attempted interception. But this Friday, the American Command indicated this Friday that it was about a “visual inspection” carried out by one of its fighter planes.
To unravel this imbroglio, it must be borne in mind that Israel and the United States are long-standing enemies of Iran. The Iranian power is on the other hand an ally of the regime in Syria, a country at war since 2011 and neighbor of Israel, as well as of the armed movement Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Also, the fact that an Iranian airliner bound for Lebanon was approached over Syrian soil by two foreign fighters almost resulted in a diplomatic incident.
Iranian public television first showed video on Thursday evening of screaming passengers as the Mahan Air plane appeared to attempt to escape at least two fighter jets.
“The pilot of the commercial aircraft quickly reduced the altitude of the flight to avoid colliding with the Israeli fighter, injuring (as a result) several passengers on board. “
According to a Lebanese security, “the Iranian plane which was intercepted in Syrian airspace landed at Beirut airport”, with “four minor injuries among the passengers”.
But Israel had a priori nothing to do with that: the American Command Center for its part indicated in a statement Thursday evening that this maneuver was “visual inspection” carried out by an American F-15 on “routine air mission” . The inspection “took place to ensure the safety of coalition personnel at Tanf garrison,” the statement said. “Once the F-15 pilot identified the plane as a Mahan Air passenger plane, the F-15 moved away from the plane safely,” the military added. She specifies that the inspection was carried out at a distance of 1000 meters and was carried out “in accordance with international standards”.
“If something happens to the plane on the way home, Iran will hold the United States responsible,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Moussavi said in return. the official Irna agency. He added that the message had been sent to the UN but also “to the Swiss ambassador in Tehran”, who represents the interests of the United States in Iran in the absence of diplomatic relations between the two countries.