Amid the confusion surrounding the downing of Malaysia Airlines MH17 comes a claim from an Iranian defense expert that could explain why the airliner was targeted by pro-Russian separatists.
Many have questioned how operators inside the Buk missile TELAR (transporter erector launcher and radar) could have possibly mistaken MH17’s radar signal as anything other than a civilian plane, given the Boeing 777’s altitude and transponder type.
Thus the notion that the missile operators believed they were firing at a Ukrainian Air Force surveillance plane has been rubbished by commentators.
Babak Taghvaee, described by The Aviationist as “very well informed and an extremely reliable source,” believes, however, that the airliner attracted attention because it was being escorted over eastern Ukraine by two Su-27 Fighter Jets.
“When the Crimea crisis began, the Ukrainian Air Force air command center quickly forward deployed six Su-27s to the Kulbakino AB. Since beginning of the crisis and the Russia intervention, the 831st TAB has the important task to provide air defense as well as security of whole country. Six fully armed Flankers have always been in the sky especially when the other Ukrainian Air Force airplanes such as transporters and attackers like Fulcrums and Rooks were in the East of Ukraine,” explains Taghvaee.
Indeed, in the days immediately preceding the shoot down of MH17, an-26 cargo plane and a Su-25 attack jet were downed by surface to air missiles in the same region.
“But when the Su-25M1 was shot down by the Russia Air Force 6969th AB’s MiG-29 on Jul. 16, the situation and condition became more critical than previous days and more Su-27 sorties were conducted to confront Russian MiG-29s.” Taghvaee adds.
“I believe those two Su-27s were not in sky just for standard practice in that day [Jul. 17], I believe they were involved in HAVCAP (High Asset Value Combat Air Patrol) mission sortie in that day.” the aviation expert continues, suggesting that all military and civilian flights over eastern Ukraine were being escorted by Ukrainian fighter jets.
“During the UEFA 2012 [football championships], the 831st TAB and its Flankers had same role, during those competitions they had duty to escort the airliners in FL330 and other routes in case emergency.” Taghvaee adds.
“They played same role during the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia. They were airborne and they even escorted a hijacked airplane. They were also ready to provide security of all passenger airplanes over Ukraine. They are now following same procedure and they could protect all of the airplanes over Ukraine in-front of Russians since Jul 16.”
As the Aviationist report notes, Taghvaee suggests that the pro-Russian missile operators inside the Buk may have concluded that a plane shadowed by Ukrainian jets was a high-value Ukrainian Air Force plane, and therefore a legitimate target.
In addition, Russia’s Defense Ministry has claimed that a Ukrainian warplane flew within three miles of the Malaysian airliner before it was downed.
Coupled with the facts that the airliner was diverted into a war zone it needn’t have flew over, and also ordered to fly at a lower altitude, this new information very much leaves open the possibility that the US backed Ukrainian military was inviting a Russian attack in order to exploit it for political ends, or even conducting a false flag attack, as some have suggested.
“Russian air space control systems detected a Ukrainian Air Force plane, presumably an SU-25 (fighter jet), scrambling in the direction of the Malaysian Boeing,” Lieutenant-General Igor Makushev of Russia’s Air Forces told a news briefing Monday.
Makushev also invited the US to share satellite images that prove US State Department claims that a Russian sophisticated SA-11 missile system, transferred to pro-Russian militants was used to down the airliner.
Meanwhile, former Associated Press reporter Robert Parry has been told by an intelligence source that the US is in possession of satellite imagery which could prove that Ukrainian troops were actually responsible for the shoot down of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.