Adam Goldman and Karen DeYoung at The Washington Post report:
A U.S. military charter aircraft flying from Afghanistan has been forced down in Iran by Iranian fighter jets, according to officials familiar with the incident.The plane, which departed Bagram air base on Friday, was chartered by the Pentagon from Fly Dubai, an airliner based in the United Arab Emirates, and was carrying approximately 100 Americans and possibly a pair of Canadians. After being intercepted by the fighter jets, the plane was escorted to the southern Iranian city of Bandar Abbas.[…]
U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the cause of the incident was related to the plane’s flight plan and expressed confidence the situation would to be resolved quickly.
The plane had been contacted by Iranian air traffic controllers, who instructed it to return to Afghanistan and file the correct plan. When the pilots informed the Iranians they did not have enough fuel to return to Bagram, they were asked to land.
That doesn’t sound serious, just a high-tension error. We’ll keep you posted.1:16 PM PT: The Washington Post is now saying that the plane was not forced to land, but rather the fighter jets escorted it to land in Bandar Abbas and that it will resume its flight soon.
1:54 PM PT: From Reuters: “A Fly Dubai charter plane flying from Bagram Air Field to Dubai was re-routed to Bandar Abbas, Iran because of a bureaucratic issue today,” the official said.
“Contrary to press reports, this plane was not forced down by the Iranian military,” the official added. “The issue appears to have been resolved and hopefully the plane will be able to take off soon.”