Iranian plane lands in Beirut after interception by US jets
A Lebanon-bound Iranian passenger plane made a quick landing at the Beirut airport after it was intercepted by US jets over the Syrian airspace.
Over 150 passengers on board the plane, operated by Mahan Airlines, were evacuated on Thursday evening after it landed.
A source at the airport told Xinhua news agency that some of the passengers suffered mild injuries.
According to local media reports, the plane changed altitude and made a quick landing after the US warplanes blocked its passage over the Syrian airspace to avoid a collision.
The warplanes believed to be with the US-led anti-terror coalition intercepted the Iranian plane over the al-Tanf area in southeastern Syria, sources at the Syrian Civilian Aviation Department said.
The warplanes forced the pilot of the Iranian plane to take a steep dive down, which led to injuries among the passengers.
However, the plane continued its flight to Beirut.
Meanwhile, a video footage went online, showing people shouting inside the plane at the time of the incident.
Earlier reports by Iranian media claimed that the passenger plane was “intimidated” by two Israeli fighter jets over Beirut on Thursday evening.
The plane was bound to Beirut on its regular route, but as the pilot of the plane faced the “threat,” he had to change the course and make an emergency landing at Beirut airport to save the life of the passengers, Tasnim news agency reported.
In the incident, some passengers were injured, it said.
A reporter of the Iranian state TV, who was on board the plane, confirmed that the warplanes, which approached within 100-metre distance to the passenger plane, belonged to Israel, according to Tasnim.