According to reports in Iranian media, an Israeli aircraft made an “aggressive” close pass near an Iranian airliner that was flying through Syrian airspace on Thursday.
According to Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), Mahan Air Flight 1152 on its way to Beirut, Lebanon, from Tehran, Iran, was approached closely on Thursday by an aircraft purported to be Israeli. However, PressTV has reported it may have been American.
“After this dangerous action by the Israeli fighter, the pilot of the passenger plane quickly reduced the altitude of the flight to avoid colliding with the Israeli fighter, which caused a number of passengers on the flight to be injured,” IRIB reported. Al-Hadath reported four wounded passengers.Video captured on board the flight and shared on social media shows the aircraft jolting back and forth during the maneuver as passengers scream.
Breaking / Iran state TV reports an Istaeli jet has threatened Mahan passenger plane on it's way to Syria pic.twitter.com/GAgYefXDU7
— Rohollah Faghihi (@FaghihiRohollah) July 23, 2020
A video shared by IRIB shows the offending aircraft. While difficult to make out precisely, the silhouette seems to be that of an F-15 Eagle – an aircraft used by both US and Israeli air forces.
Iranian media reporting a Mahan air passenger place was approached by fighter jets over Syria. Pilot lowered altitude, a number of passengers were reportedly injured. pic.twitter.com/fRQ7L1o6yZ
— AssedBaig (@AssedBaig) July 23, 2020
Americans have lost their minds. A F-15 menaced an Iranian civilian airliner flying from Tehran to Beirut over Syria and forced the pilots into rapidly descending, injuring some passengers. https://t.co/KW3RiRowmr
— Heshmat Alavi's Trenchcoat (@UrOrientalist) July 23, 2020
The Iranian airliner later landed at Beirut airport safely.
An Israeli regime fighter jet threatened an Iranian civilian aircraft.
Listen to the terrorized female passengers screaming for their lives.
This ugly supremacist regime has no moral boundaries & shameless western regimes give it political cover to carry out any atrocity. https://t.co/OqGfCJ7l6h
— Seyed Mohammad Marandi (@s_m_marandi) July 23, 2020
IRIB initially reported just one aircraft, which was purported to be Israeli. The news outlet noted that after the “dangerous action” by the jets, the airliner pilot quickly reduced altitude to avoid a collision. Al-Hadath reported four wounded passengers, and Lebanese authorities said there were 150 passengers on board.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) released a statement later on Thursday refuting claims the aircraft was Israeli. Meanwhile, Syrian media has reported there were two intercepting aircraft, which were part of the US-led international coalition, and that the intercept happened near the remote at-Tanf base in extreme southeastern Syria, which the US controls.