Malaysia Airlines MH17 Tragedy Feared to Provoke World War 3

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | July 18, 2014 4:11 PM EST

Could the disaster that fell upon Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 trigger a major global war after dozens of innocent lives, who definitely had nothing to do with the tensions ongoing between Ukraine and Russia, were lost?

REUTERS
People stand near part of the wreckage of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane after it crashed 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 stakes in a conflict between Kiev and pro-Moscow rebels in which Russia and the West back opposing sides.

Leaders from Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, the UN and the U.S. have called for a full-blown investigation in the disastrous accident even as US intelligence authorities said a surface-to-air missile was what downed the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 commercial passenger jet.

"There is clearly a need for a full and transparent international investigation," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.

Suffice to say, the U.S. may consider this unfortunate event as the time it has to step in and take aggressive action to stop the fighting in Ukraine.

Read: Disaster Strikes Malaysia Airlines Anew; 1 Canadian Among 295 Dead in Downed Flight MH17

U.S. President Obama could be forced to send more advanced arms to Ukraine's security forces, as well as train them. "This will undermine the case of those who have been reluctant," an unidentified U.S. official told Reuters.

What happened on Thursday, the official said, "could go two ways." It could make countries pause and review the seemingly escalating danger of the Ukraine conflict, or force them to join into the fray and "put their heads in the sand."

European flight safety body Eurocontrol on Thursday said it had received an advisory from Ukrainian authorities declaring the country's east portion as a no-fly zone after a Malaysian airliner with 295 onboard crashed in the region.

An intercepted series of phone conversations between Russian separatists said Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 has no business flying over Ukrainian airspace, unless it was carrying spies.

Read: Intercepted Phone Conversations Point to Group of Russian Separatists as Alleged Mastermind of Downed Malaysia Airlines MH17 - Report

Eurocontrol had explained that while Ukrainian authorities had closed the route from ground to flight level 320, the doomed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was flying at Flight Level 330 (approximately 10,000 metres/33,000 feet) when it disappeared from the radar. The level at which the aircraft was flying was therefore open, it added.

It was believed pilots of the doomed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 opted to fly above Ukraine airspace to save on fuel.

"Flights over troubled regions are very common," Dave Powell, dean of Western Michigan University's College of Aviation and a retired Boeing 777 captain at United Airlines, told International Business Times U.S. "Both governments and airlines take a look at the threats out there, of course. But when you're trying to save money and competing against everyone else, my guess is, everybody is doing that kind of routing."

Read: Malaysia Airlines MH17: Names of Passengers, Crew Revealed

Eurocontrol said that since the crash, Ukrainian airspace is now closed from the ground to unlimited (altitude) in Eastern Ukraine.

"The routes will remain closed until further notice."

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(Photo: REUTERS / Maxim Zmeyev )
People stand near part of the wreckage of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane after it crashed 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 stakes in a conflict between Kiev and pro-Moscow rebels in which Russia and the West back opposing sides.
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