‘It remains our belief’: US insists rebels downed MH17 with BUK missile, ignores Dutch report
The State department spokesman Mark Toner welcomed “the important findings” of the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) presented on Tuesday, briefing journalists that the Dutch report “validated” the US theory that the Malaysia-bound flight carrying nearly 300 passengers was downed “by a BUK surface-to-air missile” from “separatist-controlled territory.”
“The unintelligible babbling we have to read constantly simply aims at, on one hand, confusing, and on the other hand – to form a desired public opinion, which could effectively be called propaganda,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson said at a media briefing in Moscow.
Maria Zakharova pointed out that merely days after the MH17 tragedy, the US rushed to present the public with its assessment of “not the results, but the causes of the Malaysian Boeing tragedy.”
Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson stressed that the US confirmed their position “long before” the Dutch report was published.
The adjustment of beliefs and results of the investigation has unfortunately become “commonplace, notably not only with the Malaysian Boeing issue, but with other subjects as well,” Zakharova said.
On Tuesday, spokesman Toner confirmed that Washington stood by “our belief”, despite the fact that DSB reports neither attributed blame, nor determined the exact location from which the missile was launched.
When asked to clarify how it could “possibly support your theory,” Toner only repeated, again:
“Because it does say that the MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile fired from separatist-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine, and we’ve said that from day one…”
Toner’s statement, however, contradicts the Dutch Safety Board’s official findings presented Tuesday. The report has not mentioned the exact launch location, only specifying that the warhead was detonated from somewhere within a 320 sq. km area in eastern Ukraine. The report also avoided speculation about who the territory was controlled by at the time.
The probe that included only technical detains has found that Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 crashed as a result of a BUK 9М38-series that exploded above the left hand side of the Boeing 777’s cockpit.
The Dutch investigator also slammed the Ukrainian authorities for both failing to recognize the increased risk to civil airplanes and close the airspace above the conflict zone.
The blame game continues in Washington despite the fact that the DBS investigation is aimed at providing only technical details about the crash, while another probe is being carried out by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT). It is expected to determine who was responsible for the incident by the end of this year.
“If they [US] have satellite imagery which I believe they do. They never turned it over and the DSB does not fault them from doing so. The Russians have turned over their satellite imagery. While they [DSB] said it was helpful, they did not use them to shed any more light,” political analyst, Daniel Patrick Welch, told RT.
The Russian Foreign Ministry challenged the results of the Dutch report, claiming that the investigation team “did not answer” the Russian invitation to come to Russia and study the evidence that the Russian side was offering into the causes of the crash.
In a statement issued by the Ministry's spokeswoman, Moscow claimed that calls made by Russia to Kiev to release “military air traffic controllers’ recordings” at the time of the shoot-down were never followed through. Kiev also failed to release information regarding the positions of their own air defense forces in the area.
“There remain serious doubts whether the genuine goal of an investigation conducted in the Netherlands is the establishment of true reasons behind the catastrophe and not a justification of accusations that have been put forward in advance,” a foreign ministry spokeswoman said.
In the immediate aftermath of the crash last year, Western media was fast to blame Moscow.
Despite the fact that there is still no official conclusion establishing who is behind the crash, mainstream media continued to point fingers at “Russia-made” missile.
BUK producer, Almaz-Antey, has also provided the public with its own findings after it carried out two experiments simulating explosions near MH17 substitutes.
The Russian arms manufacturer determined that the missile had been an older BUK model, 9M38, fired from an area under the control of Ukrainian forces, thereby contesting the preliminary findings of the Dutch-led investigation.
“It is being spun by The New York Times and all these Western mouthpieces as a victory, but if you look closely it is anything but,” Welch said. “They fall far short of saying they know what happened. They say that they rare sure that it was shot by a BUK, but they can’t say for sure exactly where it came from and therefor they can’t say exactly who did it. This is nothing but the slam dunk that Washington wanted.”