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'Terrorist' US jet fly-by injured our civilians, says Tehran


A US fighter jet. (stock photo)

A US fighter jet. (stock photo)

A US fighter jet. (stock photo)

A US fighter jet 'harassed' a civilian airliner in an act of 'terrorism' which injured passengers, Iran has alleged.

The Middle Eastern country dismissed a US account that the bypassing jet was merely conducting a visual inspection.

State TV video footage of the inside of the Iranian airliner shows a passenger lying immobile on the floor and another with a wounded nose and forehead, presenting his bloodied face mask to the camera.

Several passengers, some seen screaming and shouting, were injured in the flight manoeuvre over Syria, according to Iranian media, but the US military said its F-15 was at a safe distance.

Iran's Urban Development Minister Mohammad Eslami was quoted by the semi-official ISNA news agency yesterday as saying Iran had lodged a formal complaint with the International Civil Aviation Organisation, describing Thursday's incident as a "terrorist act, one of aggression".

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused the US of risking a disaster.

"US ... harasses a scheduled civil airliner - endangering innocent civilian passengers - ostensibly to protect its occupation forces," he said on Twitter. "These outlaws must be stopped before disaster."

The Iranian plane, belonging to Mahan Air, was heading from Tehran to Beirut at the time.

Video footage shows oxygen masks fallen from the plane's overhead roof panels.

"I saw a black plane approaching us, and then we lost our balance," one injured passenger told state TV.

Captain Bill Urban, the US military's senior Central Command spokesman, said the F-15 jet was 1,000 metres from the airliner.

Irish Independent