(WTVM) - U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., vice chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement on the downed Malaysia Airlines plane and the conflict in Ukraine:
"My deepest sympathy goes out to the families of the passengers killed in Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. While I am grateful the separatists have turned over the bodies of many of the victims, their cooperation with the international community is long overdue. I strongly urge the separatists to allow unfettered access to the site so that international investigators can conduct a transparent and thorough investigation. I am confident the investigation will conclude that a SA-11 surface-to-air missile shot from territory controlled by pro-Russian separatists brought down the plane. Vladimir Putin should be held accountable regardless of whether it was a Russian soldier or a Russian-sponsored separatist who launched this missile. Putin should immediately withdraw any support he is providing to the separatists and his forces from Ukraine. If that does not happen, the United States should consider giving stronger military assistance to the Ukrainian government."