White House on Ground Invasion in Israel and Downed Flight 17

Johnathan Karl with the latest responses from the White House.
1:41 | 07/18/14

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Transcript for White House on Ground Invasion in Israel and Downed Flight 17
Civilians caught in the middle of the conflict and so let's turn right now to ABC's chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl tonight. Am if confirmed it's not the first time a commercial airliner has been caught in the crossfire. Of a conflict killing hundreds of innocent civilians. And it's not the first time the White House has had to deal with the consequences that looks like it. Maybe a terrible tragedy on July 3 1988. A missile fired from the US navy ship. Brought down and Ronnie an airliner with 290 people on board. As it flew over the Persian gulf the USS Vincennes have been exchanging gunfire with a -- you've -- votes that day. And mistakenly took the A 330 Airbus -- Ronnie and fighter jet. Five years before that in September 1983. A Russian fighter jet shot down a Korean plane. -- 269. Passengers on board -- that the plane -- -- a 747. Had accidentally strayed into then Soviet airspace. One of the passengers was a US congressman. Soviet government first denied involvement and later claimed the plane was spying on them. The similarities here are very strong. In both of those cases there had been something else going on in the area the day before so it's possible that. People on both sides of the border Russia and Ukraine were thinking this was not a passenger plane but thinking it was a military plan. It's important we get to the bottom of this sooner or later because -- possible. Repercussions -- flow from this beyond the tragic loss of. -- Yet sold as tragic as that loss of life today is as you heard from Vice President Biden there. The concern here in the White House is that what happens next could be even worse that those -- precautions. Could include a much wider conflict. So as was the case with both the downing about a -- in passenger jet in the Korean passenger jet. In the 1980s which are about to see David is some very high stakes diplomacy. -- big concern about the ripple effect around the world but in the meantime John you and -- were talking about the black boxes earlier sort of Tug of war. Those who recovered -- saying they would turn them over to Russia Ukraine saying it should stay there the White House weighing in on that too but there's also concern tonight about tampering with -- -- Boxes. Yes look there is firm there was a firm statement out of the White House today. Saying that at all that evidence needs to remain on Ukrainian territory should not be -- should not be tampered with. Intel international investigators have been able to get on the ground have been able to conduct their investigation the concern right now David is that. That territory is effectively in control in the control of Ukrainian pro Russian rebels. And that those as you've heard them directly say Martha Raddatz reporting they are claiming they've already found the black boxes and ship them off to Russia. Now US officials don't know that's actually true. But the message. And it's a message to Russia. Is leave all of that. Material all of the evidence in Ukraine -- international investigators. We're able to look at -- first but of course that's the big question and it and shipped already Jon Karl -- all day long John thanks to.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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