Eye witnesses reported that the flaming planes landed on the mausoleum burial site of the Islamic revolution’s founder Ruhollah Khomeini, a national shrine. According to Western observers, no distress signals came from either cockpit indicating that the collision and explosions were sudden and fast.

DEBKAfile’s military sources say the disaster was a serious blow to the Iranian Air Force not long after its first and only AWACS went into service in April 2008…

The loss of this airborne control system has left Iran’s air force and air and missile defenses without “electronic eyes” for surveillance of the skies around its borders.