A Ukrainian airliner with 176 persons aboard has on Wednesday crashed after taking off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport
A spokesman for Iran’s Road and Transportation Ministry, Qassem Biniaz said the plane had taken off from Imam Khomeini International Airport when a fire struck one of its engines. An Iranian TV said 32 of those on board were foreigners.
The Boeing 737 belonging to Ukraine International Airlines crashed near the airport and burst into flames hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack targeting two bases in Iraq housing U.S. forces in retaliation for the killing of Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Suleimani.
In a condolence message, the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a statement offered his “sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of all passengers and crew,” Zelenskiy adding that Ukraine was seeking to establish the circumstances of the crash and the death toll.
According to reporters of the Associated Press news agency who visited the site saw the debris scattered across farmlands. The dead lay among shattered pieces of the aircraft. Rescuers in masks shouted over the noise of hovering helicopters as they worked.
Yevhen Dykhne, president of the Ukraine International Airlines, said at a briefing following the crash “it was one of the best planes we had, with an amazing, reliable crew.”
According to data from the flight-tracking website FlightRadar24, the plane had been delayed from taking off from Imam Khomeini International Airport by almost an hour. It took off to the west, but never made it above 8,000 feet.
Citing preliminary information, Ukraine’s embassy in Iran said the plane had suffered engine failure and the crash was not caused by “terrorism”.
Boeing 737 MAX Resumes Operations After 20-Month Safety Ban
Boeing aircraft company has returned the 737 MAX planes into operation and has completed its first flight with passengers on board on Wednesday. The 737 MAX was banned from flight operations 20 months ago for safety reasons.
American airlines conducted the 45-minute test flight on Wednesday in which 90 passengers, including senior executives of American Airlines, reporters, flight attendants and crew of the company were on board. American Airlines is expected to conduct the first commercial flight of Boeing 737 at the end of the month.
Industry insiders say Europe’s largest low-cost airline, Ryanair, is likely to order additional seventy-five Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
In October 2018 and march 2019, Indonesia’s Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines were involved in Boeing 737 MAX air crashes that killed three hundred forty-six persons.
After a series of review procedures, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, F.A.A., announced the lifting of the safety ban for Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in the middle of last month.
UK Deploys 300 Troops To Mali
The UK’s defence ministry says the first batch of 300 British troops have arrived in Mali to bolster the united peacekeeping mission there. The rest will follow within a week.
The force will join 14,000 peacekeepers from 50 nations to protect Mali’s population from growing Islamist violence.
The mission to Africa’s Sahel region has been described as the world’s most dangerous peacekeeping deployment. More than 5,000 French troops have underpinned the operation, but president Emmanuel macron is under pressure to reduce his forces.
Meanwhile, Mali’s interim government announced, on Thursday, the composition of a new legislative body for the country’s transition to civilian rule, with the military retaining a key role.
Young army officers in Mali toppled president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in august after weeks of anti-government protests.
Military junta handed power to an interim government, between September and October under the threat of international sanctions. The interim government is meant to rule for 18 months before elections.
Israeli Legislators Pass Proposal To Dissolve Parliament
With support from prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli legislators have passed a proposal on Wednesday to dissolve the country’s parliament. This means Israel will be forced into having its fourth national election in under two years.
This happens just seven months after the coalition took office in a declaration of national unity to confront the coronavirus crisis.
But since then, the alliance between Netanyahu’s Likud Party and defence minister Benny Gantz’s Blue and White has been locked in battles.
The legislation is heading to a committee before coming before parliament for final approval as early as next week.
Prime minister Netanyahu is on trial for a series of corruption charges. Gantz accuses the prime minister of hindering key governmental work, including the passage of a national budget.
Political observers say lack of a budget has caused severe hardships and cutbacks for Israelis at a time when unemployment is estimated at more than 20 percent.
If a budget for 2020 is not passed by December the 23rd, Israeli law stipulates an automatic dissolution of parliament and new elections.