Too many disturbing things have been happening of late. The killing of General Qassem Soleimani by the United States, in flagrant violation of accepted codes of international conduct, was a demeaning of diplomatic norms. It was only right for people around the world to sympathise with Iran over the killing and roundly condemn the Trump administration for an act that was gross and completely unacceptable.
The ramifications of the Soleimani killing were hardly over when it was Iran's turn to earn global opprobrium by its downing of a Ukrainian airliner that left 176 people dead. It is now clear that an Iranian missile hit the aircraft and brought it down. Of course, no one disagrees that the missile was fired at the aircraft by mistake, especially at a time when Iranians are jittery over the drone attack that left Soleimani dead.
But that is hardly any excuse for such costly mistakes to be made. And what we have now is an international community condemning Tehran over the tragedy, and quite rightly too.
The crash of the Ukrainian airliner is evidence of how fraught the skies could be becoming for aircraft, especially over and close to conflict zones. At this point in time, the Iran-Iraq border is a dangerous area. The same goes for the area around Syria. Afghanistan remains a flashpoint.Our concerns are therefore real. Conditions are indeed grim.
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