US Fighters Buzz Iranian Airliner, Causing Injuries

Pilot says jets identified as American

An unknown number of civilian passengers on Mahan Air flight 1152 were injured on Thursday when a pair of US fighter jets approached it over Damascus, forcing the airliner to change direction to avoid colliding with the warplanes.

The abrupt change tossed passengers around, and several were injured in the process. The plane landed in Beirut, and after a stop-off returned to Tehran without incident. There is no word on the condition of the injured.

Reported earlier this afternoon, the US interception was initially reported as a single Israeli warplane, which would’ve been the latest in a string of Israeli incidents against Iranians. The airliner pilot, however, said he contacted the jets in question, and that they were Americans.

CENTCOM has confirmed as much, saying they intercepted the airliner “in accordance with international standards” to ensure the safety of US ground troops at the al-Tanf base inside Syria.  They confirmed it was identified as a Mahar Air flight, but did not specify any contact.

The US has blacklisted and sanctioned Mahar Air, accusing them of smuggling arms. There was no indication this played a factor in the US intercepting the plane.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.