US Officials Say Ukraine Rebels behind MH17 Downing

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - US officials reportedly familiar with the Dutch report on the MH17 crash in Ukraine that took place a year ago blamed the rebels for shooting down the plane, according to US media.

US Officials Say Ukraine Rebels behind MH17 Downing

The Dutch investigators, however, told RT they “cannot confirm” this.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, heading from Amsterdam to Kuala-Lumpur, crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people on board. The Dutch Safety Board has been heading an international investigation into the cause of the crash since a large number of passengers on the flight were from Holland while the plane itself flew out of Amsterdam.

According to CNN, who cited two anonymous US officials, the plane was downed by the eastern Ukrainian militia.

“Dutch accident investigators say that evidence points to pro-Russian rebels as being responsible for shooting down MH-17, according to a source who has seen the report,” CNN reported Wednesday. DSB is due to release their report in October, so what the channel’s sources may have seen is a draft.

One of the sources also alleged the draft identified the “exact type of missile used to bring down MH17 and the trajectory of the missile.”

Both the sources claimed the Dutch investigators partly put the blame for the crash on Malaysia Airlines, which did not divert the plane from the conflict zone.

“The Malaysia Airlines was not reading other countries' notice to airmen or NOTAMs and it continued to fly over the zone,” says CNN. NOTAM stands for Notice to Airmen, which is filed with an aviation authority to alert pilots of potential hazards along their route.

The Dutch Safety Board spokesperson told RT the investigators “cannot confirm” this information.

"I cannot confirm anything. It's a confidential draft report, which has been sent to the International Investigation Team and I cannot provide any details about it as long as it is a draft report - so we only give comments when the final report is issued,” Sara Vernooij said over the phone.

There are two parallel investigations into the disaster, both headed by the Dutch, with the first carried by the DBS looking into the cause of the crash. The second investigation carried out by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is a criminal inquiry, RT reported.

There have been similar media reports blaming Ukraine anti-government forces for the tragedy, but the Dutch have not backed any of it.

In March reports made by Ukrainian media claimed that the Dutch team had already come to the conclusion it was a pro-Russian Buk surface-to-air missile system that shot down the Boeing airliner.

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