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Obama on MH17: ‘Too Early’ to Say if Plane was Intended Target of Missile

President Barack Obama held a press conference Friday regarding the shot-down Malaysia flight, saying that the “immediate focus” for his administration is on “recovering those lost, investigating what happened and putting forward the facts.”

Obama said that the 298 people who died in the tragedy is “an outrage of unspeakable proportions” and that members of the FBI and National Transportation Safety Board were sent to aid in the investigation.


Obama confirmed that the plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile and that at least one American was a victim.

The plane crashed Thursday in Ukraine near the Russian boarder. Obama said that the missile that hit it came from an area in Ukraine inhabited by pro-Russia separatists. He did not directly accuse the separatists of launching the missile but noted throughout the conference that they are trained armed with military weapons from Russia. “That is happening because of Russian support,” he said.

Obama said he has been in touch with the leaders of Ukraine, Malaysia and the Netherlands to express his condolences and offer support. He spoke with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Thursday.

Asked if he believed the plane was deliberately targeted, Obama said it was “too early” to say for certain.

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