January 27, 2020
On January 2, 2020, bad weather conditions meant that the Baghdad-bound Sham Wings Airlines flight 501 was delayed for nearly 3 hours.
The plane was carrying 156 passengers, eleven of whom were in business-class. This small group – five Iraqis, five Iranians and a Syrian – had boarded the plane at the last minute before take-off. Most of them had passports with their unofficial names, according to Al Arabiya sources.
Alongside five crewmembers and two navigators, the plane was carrying four security personnel and an engineer of “foreign nationality.”
“I think the US government had some specific RoEs (Rules of Engagement) when they engaged and I don’t think they would have made that strike unless that was within the Rules of Engagement,” Mark T. Kimmitt, former US Director for Operations in the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, told Al Arabiya.