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Iranian Passenger Airliner Was Reportedly Harassed Twice in Six Minutes by US F-15s

© Flickr / U.S. Pacific CommandU.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle tactical fighter jet
U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle tactical fighter jet - Sputnik International
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The 23 July incident reportedly put the passenger jet in danger, with the actions of the American military being heavily criticised by the Iranian government. The US command, however, dismissed the accusations, claiming the fighters had performed manoeuvres at a safe distance.

American F-15 fighters harassed Iranian Mahan Air Flight 1152 in two incidents separated by a small six-minute interval, Iran's Press TV reported, citing anonymous sources.

The first incident reportedly took place as the airliner passed over the al-Tanf region in Syria, occupied by American troops, which have been deployed to the Arab Republic illegally since Washington lacks a UN mandate or invitation from Damascus.

There was, however, a second incident, which had not been reported earlier. According to Press TV's source, it took place mere minutes after the first one as the passenger jet was crossing the Syrian-Lebanese border.

The incident reportedly forced the pilot of the airliner to rapidly drop altitude to avoid colliding with the F-15 fighters after the latter performed a "dangerous" move. Some of the passengers were reported to have suffered head injuries due to hitting the jet's ceiling as it was performing a rapid evasive manoeuvre.

Iranian government strongly condemned the incident and filed an official complaint to the International Civil Aviation Organization to protest the actions of the American military. Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused the US of endangering the lives of innocent travellers with the actions of their troops and called on the international community to stop the US before the country's behaviour leads to "disaster".

A purportedly Israeli jet fighter that flew close to an Iranian airliner over Damascus, Syria, on July 23, 2020 - Sputnik International
Videos: Iranian Airliner Swerves to Avoid US F-15 Jet in Syrian Airspace, 4 Passengers Injured

The US Central Command (CENTCOM) dismissed the accusations against its jets aggressive manoeuvres, claiming that they acted in line with international standards and kept a distance of 1,000 meters from the plane as they intercepted it for "visual inspection". CENTCOM didn't clarify why its F-15s needed to inspect a regular passenger airliner in the first place.

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