US: Downed fighter jets part of pattern in Ukraine

(AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House says the downing of two fighter jets in Ukraine is part of a pattern of Russian-backed separatists using Russian weapons to pose risks to aircraft.

White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes says the only downed aircraft the separatists are not taking responsibility for is the Malaysia Airlines plane hit by a missile last week.

The U.S. has pinned responsibility for the incident on the separatists and blame Russia for providing them weaponry that could bring down a plane.

Wednesday’s attack on the Ukraine government fighter jets suggests the rebels have been undeterred by the international outrage surrounding the downing of the passenger plane.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry says the military jets were shot about 20 miles from the wreckage of the Malaysian plane.

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