Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Russian Plane Crashed in Egypt

Over the weekend, a Russian aircraft crashed in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. This crash killed all 224 passengers who were Russian tourists. Due to the tensions between Russia and Islamic State (There is tension because Russia is one of the major supporters (the other being Iran) of President Assad and the Islamic State wants him to step down), it is unsure of how exactly the plane crashed. While a U.S Defense Official with access to the latest intelligence on the investigation into the crash says that an explosion definitely did take place and that it is unlikely that it was a terrorist attack, but they cannot rule anything out yet. (http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/11/03/pentagon-official-says-there-is-no-way-russian-airliner-was-shot-down/). However there is speculation as to the cause of that explosion, whether it was a plane malfunction, pilot error, or a missile/bomb attack.  Another source leans towards the fact that the crash was due to terrorism. Spokesman Mohamed Rahmi confirmed that no distress call was ever received from the plane before the crash. This source then leads the reader to believe that since there was no distress call, and that the plane went because of a terrorist attack. Also in this source they talk about how a Sinai-based Egyptian militant group allied to the Islamic State claimed on Saturday to have shot down the plane in response to Russia's military intervention in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad against rebels including Islamic State. However, the militants are not believed to have missiles capable of hitting a plane at 30,000 feet, and that there is no evidence to suggests that the plane had been struck from the outside. (http://news.yahoo.com/no-proof-plane-broke-mid-air-egyptian-authorities-135259166--finance.html).  Since this is still an open investigation, we do not yet know exactly what has happened.
Questions to consider:
·         What do you think is the reason why the plane crashed?
·         How do you think Russia will react? Do you think they will?
·         Do you think it is any of Russia’s business to support President Assad? Why or why not?

·         Do you think that President Assad would have stepped down by now if he did not have the support from Russia and Iran? Why or why not?


Nick Jadallah said...

This was definitely an very sad event. In regards to your questions:
What do you think is the reason why the plane crashed?

- That is a difficult question to ask, because as of now, experts who have years of training in crash investigations still don't know what exactly happened. If you were to ask me to speculate, I would guess either a technical malfunction or a terrorist attack. If it is a terrorist attack, I think based on what I have read that it is more likely a bomb would have been implanted inside the plane than a missile from land striking the plane. I really hope it was a technical failure for obvious reasons.
· How do you think Russia will react? Do you think they will?

-What are they going to do? If it was indeed some sort of terrorist attack, then perhaps, yes, they would react. But in order to do so, they would need to know if the crash was, indeed, the result of a terrorist attack and which organization carried out the attack. If it was an airline malfunction, then I am sure Russia, like most other countries, will conduct a thorough investigation into the airline (which is Russian-based).
· Do you think it is any of Russia’s business to support President Assad? Why or why not?

-Is it Russia's business? Yes. They are their own country, and are allowed to support foreign governments if they so choose. SHOULD Russia support Assad? That is a different story. He is an oppressive leader who is unpopular with a large segment of the population and is accused of war crimes. He is also trying to fight ISIS while battling a plethora or rebel groups at the same time who are also trying to fight with ISIS. Basically, Syria is a mess. Whether or not Russia's presence there ( so far, mostly in the form of military support like air strikes) will help or hurt remains to be seen. They have conducted strikes on ISIS, but also strikes on U.S.-backed rebel groups. I thought the Cold War was over. OK, maybe that was an exaggeration. Lots of complicated turmoil that is difficult to understand at times.

I am very curious to see how the plane crash plays out. Good article. Thanks for posting!

Rachael Howard said...

Thanks for responding to my questions! Your insight is really interesting!I should of made the questions more clear... these were all questions meant for the reader to speculate/ give their opinion since there is really no hard facts to what really has happened.

Interestingly enough, I went searching for more information on this topic and stumbled across this video http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/04/africa/russian-plane-crash-egypt-sinai/
The video is a CNN news report which states speculates that if it was indeed a terrorist attack it was in the form of an ISIS member bringing a bomb on board. Investigators in the crash say that so far they have found no bomb residue inside the plane. Investigators also say that the bodies of the passengers on board do not show any sign of trauma that is typically seen when a bomb explodes.
The video also states that Russia has publicly stated no opinion as to what has happened because it is simply too early to conclude anything. Also the airport security has been upped at the airport where the plane took off. However many airlines have grounded their flights/refuse to fly over there.

Hope you all enjoy the additional information I found, even though it is minimal.
Very sad event :( however it will be interesting to see what the cause of the crash was and how it will effect international flights and the security at airports.