Barack Obama calls MH17 crash an “outrage of unspeakable proportion.”
President Barack Obama said Friday that at least one American citizen was killed in the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family for this terrible loss,” Obama said in a statement from the White House briefing room.
Obama called the deaths of all the victims, who he said had nothing to do with the crisis in Ukraine, an “outrage of unspeakable proportions.” He gave his condolences to the Netherlands, who lost at 173 citizens in the crash, and said he planned to speak with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who also lost many of his countrymen in the crash.
“This was a global tragedy,” he added. “An Asian airliner was destroyed in European skies filled with citizens from many countries, So there has to be a credible international investigation into what happened.”
Obama said evidence indicates that the commercial jet was shot down by a surface-to-air missile launched from a rebel-controlled area of Ukraine. He called for an immediate cease-fire between Ukraine and pro-Russian forces in order to facilitate a clean investigation and further cautioned against misinformation and speculation as investigators sort out the facts surrounding the crash.
“No one can deny the truth that is revealed in the awful images we all have seen,” he said. “And the eyes of the world are on eastern Ukraine, and we are going to make sure that the truth is out.”