MOSCOW: A civilian plane carrying 172 passengers from Tehran to Damascus made an emergency landing at the Russian-controlled Hmeimim Air Base in Syria on Thursday to avoid coming under anti-aircraft fire from Syrian air defenses, a passenger said.
According to the details, The Syrian forces were responding to Israeli strikes on targets in Syria, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov was quoted as saying by Interfax and other Russian agencies.
Sources of Reuters said, The incident took place a month after a Ukraine International Airlines passenger plane crashed shortly after take-off from Tehran, killing all 176 people on board. Iran later said its forces had shot it down unintentionally due to human error.
The Russian military said a civilian Airbus-320 with 172 passengers on board was attempting to land at Damascus Airport during the alleged Israeli strikes, but was instead forced to land at the Russian airbase in Khmeimim, the official Russian government outlet TASS reported.
According to Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov, Flight data from the approximate time of the attack indicated that the plane was operated by the Syrian Cham Wings airline. The plane was nearly hit by Syrian air defenses during the attack.
“Such operations by Israeli strategists gamble the lives of hundreds of innocent people,” Konashenkov said.