Amid reports that the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down, Ukrainian and US officials today said the aircaft was downed by a Russian-made anti-aircraft missile.
The flight with about 300 people on board, was downed in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border on Thursday.
US intelligence and military officials have said the plane had been destroyed by a Russian SA-series missile, based on surveillance satellite data that showed the final trajectory and impact of the missile but not its point of origin, the New York Times reported.
Meanwhile, reports suggested that the Malaysian airline flight might have been mistaken for a military aircraft.
A pro-Russian rebel leader and expert of the Bosnian War, Igor Strelkov tweeted yesterday that he had shot down the Malaysian aircraft MH17 mistaking it for a Ukrainian Air Force transport plane.
However, the post was deleted immediately after the news of Malaysian airlines crash came out. Igor Strelkov is one of the most brutal pro-Russian leaders in the insurgency.
Ukraine has accused the separatists of carrying out a “terrorist attack.”
Russia in turn blamed Ukraine for the mishap, with Russian President Vladimir Putin saying,”This tragedy would not have happened if there was peace in the country, if military operations had not resumed in the south-east of Ukraine.”
Conspiracy theories have also been rising since the news of the crash. According to Moscow-based news agency Interfax, it was Putin’s plane that was the actual target. It cited an anonymous source, supposedly from the federal agency Rosaviation, saying that Putin’s plane crossed MH17’s path near Warsaw, less than an hour apart.
Leaders from across the world have called for a speedy probe into the incident. The UN Security Council also was to hold an emergency meeting today morning on Ukraine.
There were 298 people, including 154 Dutch nationals, on board the Malaysia Airlines flight.