Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down using a surface-to-air missile from an SA-11 anti-aircraft battery, killing all 298 people on board. US intelligence community believes the separatists shot the plane down by accident.

"The Russian separatists we believe fired this, in general, could not be doing what they are doing without the Russians," State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters.

"And responsibility lays at the feet of President Putin, not just for this but for every incident that we have seen throughout this conflict" Harf said.

US officials have earlier said training given by Russia to the separatist on air-defense weapons was a contributing factor for their assessment.

"We have laid out a very detailed case. We have been very open about our assessments here. The Russians have repeatedly lied about what is happening on the ground. They said there weren't troops in Crimea when there were troops all over Crimea. So there's just no credibility on their side," she said.

The White House said the question of who specifically fired the missile is for the investigation to determine.

"The fact that we don't know that yet does not absolve Russia of its responsibility for creating an environment in which militants were trained, given weapons, and encouraged to fight," said White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz.

Russia trained, equipped rebels who shot down MH17: US
Senior US intelligence officials said Russia trained and equipped separatists responsible for the shooting down of MH17 with a surface-to-air missile over Ukraine, but noted that the rebels may have targeted the plane presuming it to be a Ukrainian military jet.
    
The officials released some of the sensitive intelligence informations, including satellite images, to a select group of reporters yesterday claiming them to be evidences that Russia had trained and equipped rebels responsible for the attack, The Washington Post reported.
    
United States and Ukraine have blamed Moscow and Russia-backed separatists for the tragic incident that killed all 298 people on board Malaysia Airline MH17. Russia has denied its direct involvement.     

According to the daily, intelligence officials cited sensors that traced the path of the missile, shrapnel markings on the downed aircraft, voice-print analysis of separatists claiming credit for the strike, and a flood of photos and other data from social-media sites.
    
The officials ruled out the possibility that Ukrainian forces were responsible for the attack, saying Ukraine had no anti-aircraft missile system within range of the Malaysian flight at the time it was struck.
    
"We are seeing a full-court press by the Russian government to instruct affiliated or friendly elements to manipulate the media environment to spread Russia's version of the story.
    
"What this looks like again is a classic case of blaming the victims," the official was quoted as saying by the daily.     The Post said US spy agencies have not reached any conclusions on the motive for the attack.
    
But they did noted that the reaction among separatists recorded on social media indicates they believed they were targeting a Ukrainian military transport plane.
    
Acknowledging that US intelligence agencies were not aware that an SA-11 system was in eastern Ukraine until the attack happened, the officials declined to answer questions about whether warnings about Russian military buildup over the past month had been shared with international aviation authorities, the daily reported.
    
They also declined to provide details on the satellites and other sophisticated sensors that enabled them to trace the path of the missile, citing concerns about compromising secret US capabilities.
    
The officials also released the missile path which showed that it was fired from "a geographic area" controlled by Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. The missile followed the near-vertical flight path characteristic of an SA-11 launch.
    
"We did pick up a launch. We were able to have the ability to track this specific launch," an unnamed official was quoted as saying.

"It is important for us to realise that while we work to determine who is responsible for literally firing this missile, the picture emerging is not in doubt.

"We assessed that it was an SA-11 and that it came from a separatist-controlled area. And we know Russia has provided arming and training for these separatists," Schultz asserted.

He said US is concerned by the Russian support for the separatists and hence taken a number of steps to rally around the international community in this regard.

"That is why I think President Putin feels increasingly isolated. That is why I think that people, even in Russia, are starting to question the direction President Putin is taking their country. I think that is why you see an international coalition building consensus around this," he said.

Meanwhile, Pentagon said Russia continues to support the rebels and it has last week sent a column of over 100 vehicles including tanks, artillery, multiple launch rocket systems.

Pentagon spokesman Army Col Steve Warren said, "There is no question that the Russians are backing these separatists and they bear responsibility for what happens in eastern Ukraine."

Honour guards load a coffin of one of the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 downed over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine on to a transport plane

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