Terrible news. First via RT…
Kolavia Flight 7K9268, an Airbus A321, went off radar 23 minutes after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport, Sergey Izvolskiy told the media citing preliminary data.
The plane was carrying 217 passengers and 7 crewmembers, he added. Twenty-four of the passengers were children.
The Russian embassy in Egypt initially said all on board were Russian citizens. Later, the Belorussian embassy said one of the passengers was Belorussian. Egyptian authorities said three of the victims were Ukrainian, but Kiev didn’t immediately confirm that.
The Russian embassy in Egypt said all passengers and crew members on board the airliner were dead.
Egyptian military and security officials said none of the passengers and crew of the Russian Airbus A321 which crashed earlier in the Sinai Peninsula were alive. This information was confirmed by the Russian embassy in Egypt.
“Unfortunately, all the passengers of the Kogalymavia Flight 9268 are dead. We express our condolences to the families of the crash victims.”
According to the Russian embassy in Egypt, there were 212 passengers and 7 crew members on board.
The Egyptian cabinet gave slightly different figures in its statement, saying the plane was carrying 214 Russian citizens and three Ukrainians, including 138 women, 62 men and 17 children. Earlier on Saturday, the Russian Transportation Ministry said there were 217 passengers and 7 crew on board.
An Egyptian security official said 150 bodies have been recovered from the crash site.
Preliminary reports point to a technical failure. Via Sputnik News Agency…
Bodies were found in a 5 km (3.1 miles) radius from the crashed aircraft, the sources said. The plane fell vertically, which led to large parts of it burning, according to Reuters.
The Sinai aircrash became the deadliest air accident in the history of Russian aviation, surpassing the 1985 disaster in Uzbekistan, where 200 people died.
The Airbus company would provide all the necessary technical support to the authorities, involved in the investigation of Russian Kogalymavia airliner crash in Egypt, the statement published on the website of the Russian branch of Airbus company said.
There were no indications that the Russian Airbus was shot down. The airliner en route from Sharm El-Sheikh to Saint Petersburg went off radar at 3:21 AM GMT 23 minutes after take-off.
And here is where it gets tricky and extremely dangerous…for all mankind.
An unconfirmed video and ISIS statement out of Egypt are now suggesting that the terrorist group shot the airliner down. If confirmed, then that would essentially mean a US/CIA funded and trained terrorist group has just shot down a Russian passenger jet.
It’s anyones guess what Russia’s response to such a crime and provocation would, or should be.
That didn’t take long: following the worst Russian airplane disaster in history, the question everyone was asking is who is responsible. Moments ago we got the answer.
A militant group affiliated to Islamic State in Egypt claimed responsibility for the downing of a Russian passenger plane that crashed in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula on Saturday, the group said in a statement circulated by supporters on Twitter.
Below is the statement from a group alleging to speak on behalf of Islamic State, posted on their affiliate site, translated by the Guardian’s Jahd Khalil. It offers no evidence that the group brought down the plane, apart from their word.
Breaking: Downing of Russian airplane, killing of more than 220 Russian crusaders on board.
Soldiers of the Caliphate were able to bring down a Russian plane above Sinai Province with at least 220 Russian crusaders aboard.
They were all killed, praise be to God. O Russians, you and your allies take note that you are not safe in Muslims lands or their skies.
The killing of dozens daily in Syria with bombs from your planes will bring woe to you. Just as you are killing others, you too will be killed, God willing.
The tweet in question:
Many expressed their initial skepticism that ISIS is the responsible party:
An analyst with the Center for American Progress, Mokhtar Awad, told the Guardian that the Islamic State’s claim of responsibility “is quite vague.
“It doesn’t state how they were able to ‘down’ the plane allegedly. Even the most sophisticated of portable surface-to-air missiles cannot reach that high an altitude and are only a threat during periods of take-off or landing, but the plane had already climbed to its target altitude (from what we know thus far) when it began to likely experience technical failures.
The local affiliate, Wilayat Sinai, has been under some pressure over the past few months and may have jumped the gun on taking credit. Although there isn’t a precedent for such a spectacular lie about something they claim to have done, Islamic State itself has recently been embellishing more and more. For instance it claimed that the recent prison raid by Kurdish and US special forces were a total failure, when in fact video evidence surfaced showed them freeing the hostages. So this may be an instance of the rooster taking credit for the dawn.”
Then again, it could simply have been a bomb planted on the plane and set to explade after 20 minutes of flight time. Even Russia’s transport minister Maksim Sokolov has said that the claim Islamic State militants brought down the plane “can’t be considered accurate”.
Now in various media there is assorted information that the Russian [plane]… was supposedly shot down by an anti-aircraft missile, fired by terrorists. This information can’t be considered accurate
However, to corroborate their claim, ISIS has allegedly released this shocking video showing what appears to be a mid-air bomb explosion. Viewer discretion advised.
Whether or not the video is real or staged like many of ISIS’ previous “made in Hollywood” productions, is currently unknown.
Of course, is the same ISIS which a recently leaked CIA report revealed as being created by the CIA as a “tool” to overthrow Syria’s Assad.
In other words, a proxy organization of US “shadow government destabilizing operations”, trained in U.S. ally Turkey, and openly funded by both U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar, just took down a Russian plane.
The question now is did ISIS use a US-made surface-to-air missile to start what may be a very unpleasant war.
Also, does Russia get a carte blanche to begin attacks on ISIS in Egypt now, the same Egypt which recently “purchased” the two Mistral ships made by France, which were meant to be bought by Russia in a deal that was scrapped in the last minute due to NATO intervention?
One thing is clear: if the Russian population had any qualms about continuing the campaign in Syria, they were just eliminated in perpetuity.
We now await the Russian response, against both ISIS and its direct and indirect sponsors.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.