The Obama administration scrambled Thursday to determine what brought down a passenger jet in Ukraine and whether any Americans were killed in an incident that could worsen the already tense conflict near the Ukraine-Russia border.
President Barack Obama made no mention of who might be responsible for the crash of the Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 295 people, but said the incident appeared to be a “terrible tragedy.”
Following the crash, the Federal Aviation Administration said U.S. airlines voluntarily agreed not to operate near the Ukraine-Russia border. The agency said it was monitoring the situation to determine whether further guidance was necessary.
The incident came one day after Obama levied broad economic sanctions on Russia as punishment for its threatening moves in Ukraine. Moscow is widely believed to be supporting pro-Russian separatists fomenting instability near the border, though the Kremlin denies those assertions.