Passenger plane makes emergency landing after coming under Syrian fire

Rescue teams recover debris from a field after a Ukrainian plane carrying 176 passengers crashed near Imam Khomeini airport in the Iranian capital Tehran January 8, 2020, killing everyone on board. — AFP pic
Rescue teams recover debris from a field after a Ukrainian plane carrying 176 passengers crashed near Imam Khomeini airport in the Iranian capital Tehran January 8, 2020, killing everyone on board. — AFP pic

MOSCOW, Feb 7 — A passenger plane carrying 172 passengers from Tehran to Damascus made an emergency landing at the Russian-controlled Khmeimim air base yesterday after coming under fire from Syrian air defences, Russia’s defence ministry said today.

The Syrian forces were responding to Israeli strikes that hit the suburbs of Damascus, Russian media cited spokesman Igor Konashenkov as saying.

The incident took place a month after a Boeing 737-800 operated by Ukraine International Airlines crashed shortly after take-off from Tehran, killing all 176 people on board. Iran later said it had been shot down unintentionally due to human error.

The Syrian defence ministry said yesterday it had intercepted Israeli missiles over Damascus that were fired at military targets in southern Syria.

Israel has declined to comment.

The Airbus A320 had been coming into land at Damascus International Airport when it was forced to divert to the nearest alternative airfield, the Khmeimim air base. — Reuters

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