US INTELLIGENCE: Surface-To-Air Missile Was Fired At Malaysian Plane In Ukraine

Emergency workers wreckage malaysia airlines ukraine crashREUTERS/Maxim ZmeyevEmergencies Ministry members walk at the site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region, July 17, 2014. The Malaysian airliner Flight MH-17 was brought down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 295 people aboard and sharply raising the stakes in a conflict between Kiev and pro-Moscow rebels in which Russia and the West back opposing sides.

U.S. intelligence believes a surface-to-air missile was fired at a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane carrying nearly 300 people when it was shot down near the Ukrainian border, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

But the intelligence has not confirmed the origin of the missile, according to the report, and it is “divided” over its source. The White House declined to comment on the reports.

None of the 295 passengers and crew aboard MH 17 survived Thursday’s crash near the Ukrainian border. An adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Minister blamed pro-Russian separatists, and said they shot down the passenger plane with a Russian-made Buk ground-to-air missile system. The pro-Russian separatists in the Donetsk region, which is about 25 miles from the Russian border, have admitted to using these systems.

Ukrainian security services released audio Thursday afternoon purporting to contain the separatists discussing how they shot down the civilian aircraft.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said earlier on Thursday that it did not “exclude” the possibility that the aircraft was shot down, and said Ukrainian forces were not responsible. Later, he described it as a “terrorist action.”

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