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US Offers to Help in Russian A321 Plane Crash Investigation

© AP Photo / Jacquelyn MartinWhite House press secretary Josh Earnest
White House press secretary Josh Earnest - Sputnik International
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White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that the United States is ready to assist the investigation into the Russian Airbus A321 jet crash.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States is ready to assist the investigation into the Russian Airbus A321 passenger jet crash in Egypt, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Monday.

"It is an ‘open offer’," Earnest said in commenting on the support the United States could provide to the ongoing investigation of the crash.

On Saturday, an Airbus A321, operated by the Russian airline Kogalymavia, crashed in the Sinai Peninsula while flying from the Egyptian resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh to St. Petersburg. All 224 people on board have been confirmed dead in what has become the greatest civil aviation catastrophe in Russia’s history.

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Egyptian aviation authorities said the airplane made a sharp descent of 5,000 feet before disappearing from radar screens.

US National Intelligence Director James Clapper said the Islamic State terrorist group, which operates in the Sinai Peninsula, may be capable of shooting down an aircraft like the Russian Airbus.

Earnest noted the White House is aware of claims of responsibility for the crash by Islamic State terrorists.

Rather than speculating, he added, the Obama administration is "going to let the investigation move forward."

On Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow cannot exclude any cause behind the A-321 crash.

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