President: American among those killed on downed plane
WASHINGTON. D.C. — Friday, President Obama called for an immediate cease-fire between Russia and the Ukraine to allow for a complete investigation into the shooting down of a Malayasia Airlines jet.
President Obama said, “Evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by surface to air missile.”
In a news conference, Obama also confirmed at least one American was on board the plane.
There were no survivors.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power told an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council that the plane was “likely downed by a surface-to-air missile … operated from a separatist-held location in eastern Ukraine.”
If pro-Russian separatists are responsible for shooting down the plane with a missile, investigators can’t rule out the possibility that Russia offered help to operate the system, she said.
Power also said Russia should take steps to cool tensions in Ukraine.
“Russia can end this war,” she said. “Russia must end this war.”
The United States and Ukraine are committed to a diplomatic solution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine, she said, but if Russia continues to choose escalation, additional sanctions will follow.
Separatist leaders also boasted on social media about shooting down the plane and later deleted those references, she said.
None of those on board survived Thursday’s crash, she said. Three were infants.
Her statement came after a U.S. defense official said a preliminary classified U.S. intelligence analysis had concluded that the missile that hit Flight 17 most likely was fired by pro-Russian separatists inside eastern Ukraine.
The official, who has direct access to the latest information, declined to be identified because of its sensitivity.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk earlier blasted the “terrorists” he blamed for shooting down Flight 17.
He called on all governments to back the investigation and “to support the Ukrainian government to bring to justice all these bastards who committed this international crime.”