Iranian state television reported on Thursday a Mahan Air passenger flight was approached by an unidentified fighter jet in Syrian skies, forcing the plane to take emergency measures that caused injuries among the passengers.
The flight was en route from Tehran to Beirut and was in Syrian airspace when the alleged incident occurred.
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- UPDATE US Central Command just released statement confirming it was a US F-15: “A U.S. F-15 on a routine air mission in the vicinity of the CJTF-OIR At Tanf garrison in Syria conducted a standard visual inspection of a Mahan Air passenger airliner at a safe distance of approximately 1,000 meters from the airliner this evening. The visual inspection occurred to ensure the safety of coalition personnel at At Tanf garrison. Once the F-15 pilot identified the aircraft as a Mahan Air passenger plane, the F-15 safely opened distance from the aircraft. The professional intercept was conducted in accordance with international standards.”
- UPDATE Flight IRM1153 now is airborne again & flying out of Beirut.
- UPDATE The aircraft involved was aMahan Air Airbus A310-304 (reg. EP-MNF).
Video aired by Iran’s state-run television, IRIB, appears to show at least one fighter jet flying close to the passenger plane. In another video, passengers can be heard screaming.
The report said the pilot rapidly dropped altitude to avoid contact with the jet. Several passengers were injured.