An Iranian passenger plane flying from Tehran to Beirut has been forced by F-15 fighter jets to turn around and land in Beirut, according to Iranian state media.
The report said the plane managed to safely land in the Lebanese capital but some passengers had sustained injuries, with three taken to hospital.
The pilot was forced to change altitude quickly to avoid collision with the two jets — which state media initially said were Iranian but later quoted the pilot as saying the jets identified themselves as American via radio communications.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, two US officials said that American F-15 fighter jets came within visual range of an Iranian passenger aircraft in Syrian airspace on Thursday but was at a safe distance.
“The place went up and down,” one passenger says in another video posted by Iran’s Press TV.
“I banged my head against the ceiling and my chair broke and my arm is scratched too. I looked to the right and saw a fighter jet flying by.”
The pilot of the passenger plane contacted the jet pilots to warn them to keep a safe distance and they identified themselves as American, IRIB reported.
The Iranian plane, belonging to Mahan Air, was heading from Tehran to Beirut and landed safely in Beirut, an airport source said.
The plane arrived back in Tehran in the early hours of Friday morning, the Fars news agency reported.
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