El incidente que comentamos a continuación podría tener consecuencias imprevisibles. Puede que sí, puede que no. El temple ruso está a prueba desde hace varias horas. Todo puede suceder. Para comenzar, así titulaba Russia Insider sobre los eventos del Sinaí.
Título: LIVE UPDATES: Russian Airliner Crashes in Egypt
Subtítulos: A Russian airliner has crashed in central Sinai with more than 200 people on board, according to reports / Egyptian security forces say the plane was not shot down / Media outlets were prematurely giving reports of plane debris and evidence of a crash, after first believing the plane disappeared somewhere over Cyprus
Texto: Updates as we learn more about this horrible tragedy:
UPDATE 15 (1:58 MSK) - According to Reuters, Russia's Investigative Committee is launching a case against Kogalymavia, the operator of the crashed airliner. The company will be investigated for “violation of rules of flights and preparations for them”.
UPDATE 14 (1:28 MSK) - Rescue workers at the site: “The plane split into two, a small part on the tail end that burned and a larger part that crashed into a rock. We have extracted at least 100 bodies and the rest are still inside.”
UPDATE 13 (1:10 MSK) - Putin has expressed condolences to families of those killed and ordered an investigation into the crash. Incredibly, there are still reports of survivors that rescue workers are trying to save from the wreckage.
UPDATE 12 (1:08 MSK) - There were 217 passengers on board, including 17 children. All Russian
UPDATE 11 (1:01 MSK) - Are there survivors? RT: “Voices of trapped passengers were reportedly heard in one section of the Russia-bound Airbus 320, according to an officer at the scene.”
UPDATE 10 (12:51 MSK) - On takeoff, the pilot had sought a change of course and for a landing to be made in Cairo, a Sharm el-Sheikh airport source told RIA Novosti
UPDATE 9 (12: 48 MSK) - Wow, this is getting weird. According to RT, “Different media were prematurely giving reports of plane debris and evidence of a crash, after first believing the plane disappeared somewhere over Cyprus, but the crash was never confirmed.”
UPDATE 8 (12:42 MSK) - Egyptian PM 'en route' to the crash site, according to Reuters
UPDATE 7 (12:37 MSK) - A statement released by the Russian Foreign Ministry:
Urgent! The staff of the Russian Embassy in Egypt shall monitor the situation around the aircraft of the Russian airline “Kogalymavia”. As soon as further information will be received, it would be provided to the media.
UPDATE 6 (12:31 MSK) - Hilarious. The BBC says “the aircraft was flying at an altitude where it could not have been struck by something from the ground”. It was flying at 31,000 feet. MH17 was flying at 33,000 feet. Nice try though. (Sinai is home to various terrorist networks.) We're not saying the plane was shot down, but c'mon.
UPDATE 5 (12:30 MSK) - Wow, the BBC had some jerk-off on tv basically say, “well you know, Russian planes crash all the time.”
UPDATE 4 (12:28 MSK) - A map of where the plane is thought to have crashed:
UPDATE 3 (12: 19 MSK) - The plane 'vanished' while flying at 31,000 feet, according to Egypt's Civil Aviation authority. The plane then fell 5,000 feet in one minute.
UPDATE 2 (12:15 MSK) - The wreckage has been found. Egyptian officials say the crash is most likely due to poor weather conditions. But we will wait for the Russian government to comment.
UPDATE 1 (12:06 MSK) - The airliner has been 'completely destroyed' according to Egyptian officials. No survivors likely
A terrible tragedy. VIa the BBC:
A Russian airliner has crashed in central Sinai with more than 200 people on board, the office of Egypt's prime minister has confirmed.
The Airbus A-321 had just taken off from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, on its way to the Russian city of St Petersburg.
Egyptian media reports said wreckage of the plane had already been found and at least 20 ambulances sent to the scene.
Most of the passengers are said to be Russian tourists.
We will update this page as we learn more.
Con sobriedad, Russia Today señalaba:
Título: Russian passenger aircraft with 220 onboard crashes in Egypt
Epígrafe: A Russian plane carrying over 220 people from Egypt to Russia disappeared from radars, and crashed in central Sinai, according to Russian and Egyptian authorities.
Texto: Kolavia Flight 7K9268, an Airbus A321, went off radar 23 minutes after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport, Sergey Izvolskiy told the media citing preliminary data. The plane was carrying 217 passengers and 7 crewmembers, he added. Twenty-four of the passengers were children.
The Russian embassy in Egypt initially said all on board were Russian citizens. Later, the Belorussian embassy said one of the passengers was Belorussian. Egyptian authorities said three of the victims were Ukrainian, but Kiev didn’t immediately confirm that.
Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail confirmed that the Russian plane did go missing over Sinai and said a cabinet-level crisis committee has been convened to deal with the incident.
The crash site was discovered hours later in a desolate mountainous area of central Sinai, Egypt’s aviation ministry reported.
The plane was destroyed and all passengers and crewmembers were killed in the crash, Egyptian military and rescue officials told AP. Earlier, media reports suggested there might have been some survivors.
The Egyptian military told RT access to the crash site may be difficult for the press due to the volatile security situation in the Sinai. Large parts of the peninsula are dangerous due to the presence of militants, with only coastal areas in the north and south adequately guarded by security forces. The crash site is in the Hassana area 35 km south of Arish, the largest city in the Sinai.
The flight was traveling from the Egyptian resort to St. Petersburg. It belonged to the Kogalymavia airline, which also uses the brand name Metrojet, an operator popular among Russian tourists going to Egypt. The plane was supposed to contact air traffic in Turkish Cyprus’ Larnaca after leaving Egypt’s airspace, but failed to do so.
The tourist operator Brisco charted the ill-fated flight. The company is a business affiliate of Metrojet and they said the captain of the Airbus was an experienced pilot familiar with the aircraft.
“The captain was Velary Nemov, who has 12,000 flight hours under his belt, so he is definitely an experienced man. Of those, some 3,800 hours he spent piloting Airbus 320s. So we don’t have any reason to suspect human error from the crew,” a spokesman for Brisco said.
The plane climbed to its designated altitude of over 10,000 meters before rapidly losing speed, dropping and then vanishing from radar. Some reports in the Egyptian media cited eyewitnesses as saying the plane was on fire as it fell.
A source at Sharm El-Sheikh Airport told RIA Novosti the pilot of the missing plane requested a change of course, saying the jet would have to land in Cairo. The source said the crew of the crashed plane had complained to the airport’s technical service that the jet had engine problems.
The rapid drop the Airbus 321 reportedly experienced before crashing indicates pretty unusual circumstances and would suggest an emergency descent maneuver conducted by the crew, Captain Richard Woodward, former vice-president of the Australian and International Pilots' Association (AIPA), told RT.
“If engines had failed, that would give you a dramatic loss of speed initially, but the crew would have lowered the nose and commit what is called a glide descent,” he explained. “My initial thought was that it might have been an emergency descent by the crew because they had a pressurization problem or dare I say perhaps a bomb on board.”
Russia has declared Sunday a day of national mourning for the crash victims.
Metrojet had a fatal incident in 2011, when one of its planes caught fire on a runway in Surgut Airport in Russia’s Urals. Three people died and 40 were injured as the plane burned out in just 10 minutes.
The last large-scale Russian airline incident happened in November 2013, when Tatarstan Airlines Flight 363 crashed at Kazan International Airport while attempting to land. Fifty people died in the incident.
El sitio web Moon of Alabama especulaba lo siguiente:
Título: Islamic State Plane Attack Claim Could Be Helpful
Texto: Today a Russian civil airliner came down over the Sinai peninsula. All 224 on board of the Airbus A-320 were killed. The Islamic State in Sinai claims to have "brought down" the plane.
That is unlikely. According to flight radar data the plane was flying at 30,000 feet when whatever happened occurred. IS in Sinai has anti-air weapons but those reach no higher than 10,000 feet. It is in principle possible that IS infiltrated the airport at the Egyptian tourist resort Sharm el-Sheikh where the plane was was coming from and smuggled someone on board. But it is unlikely. The usual travel arrangements for Sharm el-Sheikh are group travels where anyone not belonging to a group would be suspicious. Security at Sharm el-Sheikh is usually tight. There is also a report that preliminary investigations point to a technical failure.
But IS claimed responsibility and the fact that it did can be used. How about a salvo of cruise missile on "IS targets" in Syria and Iraq? No one could really complain now if some of those cruise missiles hit IS ... or something else ...
But whatever. That IS claims to have taken down an airliner shows that it has intent to do such. That is then the end of stupid arguments to work with IS or to let it live and prosper.
Zero Hedge señalaba, horas más tarde:
Título: ISIS Releases Video Of Alleged Russian Airplane Mid-Air Exposion After It Claims Responsibility For Disaster
Texto: That didn't take long: following the worst Russian airplane disaster in history, the question everyone was asking is who is responsible. Moments ago we may have gotten the answer.
A militant group affiliated to Islamic State in Egypt claimed responsibility for the downing of a Russian passenger plane that crashed in Egypt's Sinai peninsula on Saturday, the group said in a statement circulated by supporters on Twitter.
Below is the full statement from a group alleging to speak on behalf of Islamic State, posted on their affiliate site, translated by the Guardian's Jahd Khalil. It offers no evidence that the group brought down the plane, apart from their word.
Soldiers of the Caliphate were able to bring down a Russian plane above Sinai Province with at least 220 Russian crusaders aboard.
They were all killed, praise be to God. O Russians, you and your allies take note that you are not safe in Muslims lands or their skies.
The killing of dozens daily in Syria with bombs from your planes will bring woe to you. Just as you are killing others, you too will be killed, God willing.
The tweet in question:
Many expressed their initial skepticism that ISIS is the responsible party:
An analyst with the Center for American Progress, Mokhtar Awad, told the Guardian that the Islamic State’s claim of responsibility "is quite vague.
“It doesn’t state how they were able to ‘down’ the plane allegedly. Even the most sophisticated of portable surface-to-air missiles cannot reach that high an altitude and are only a threat during periods of take-off or landing, but the plane had already climbed to its target altitude (from what we know thus far) when it began to likely experience technical failures.
The local affiliate, Wilayat Sinai, has been under some pressure over the past few months and may have jumped the gun on taking credit. Although there isn’t a precedent for such a spectacular lie about something they claim to have done, Islamic State itself has recently been embellishing more and more. For instance it claimed that the recent prison raid by Kurdish and US special forces were a total failure, when in fact video evidence surfaced showed them freeing the hostages. So this may be an instance of the rooster taking credit for the dawn.”
Then again, it could simply have been a bomb planted on the plane and set to explade after 20 minutes of flight time.
Even Russia's transport minister Maksim Sokolov has said that the claim Islamic State militants brought down the plane "can’t be considered accurate".
Now in various media there is assorted information that the Russian [plane]... was supposedly shot down by an anti-aircraft missile, fired by terrorists. This information can’t be considered accurate.
However, to corroborate their claim, ISIS has allegedly released this shocking video showing what appears to be a mid-air bomb explosion.
Viewer discretion advised:
Whether or not the video is real or staged like many of ISIS' previous "made in Hollywood" productions, is currently unknown. Of course, is the same ISIS which a recently leaked CIA report revealed as being created by the CIA as a "tool" to overthrow Syria's Assad.
In other words, a proxy organization of US "shadow government destabilizing operations", trained in U.S. ally Turkey, and openly funded by both U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar, just took down a Russian plane.
The question now is did ISIS use a US-made surface-to-air missile to start what may be a very unpleasant war.
Also, does Russia get a carte blanche to begin attacks on ISIS in Egypt now, the same Egypt which recently "purchased" the two Mistral ships made by France, which were meant to be bought by Russia in a deal that was scrapped in the last minute due to NATO intervention?
One thing is clear: if the Russian population had any qualms about continuing the campaign in Syria, they were just eliminated in perpetuity.
We now await the Russian response, against both ISIS and its direct and indirect sponsors.