JAKARTA - Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has called the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 by a ground-to-air missile, if proven, as a violation of international law and the laws of war.
Speaking at a televised press conference on Friday, Dr Yudhoyono called for an immediate international investigation into the incident and for the perpetrators to be dealt with harshly.
"If it is true that the civilian aircraft fell because it was shot by a military weapon, that is a violation of international law, and the laws of war," he said.
The airline said in a statement on Friday morning that 12 Indonesian nationals, including an infant, were among the 298 passengers and crew on board the plane. Several passengers were also bound for Indonesia.
Dr Yudhoyono expressed his condolences and sympathies to Malaysia and to the families of victims, adding that Indonesia was ready to help.
He also noted that he had instructed all Indonesian airliners to avoid flying over conflict areas, especially Ukraine, but also the Gaza Strip.
Separately, Indonesian flag carrier Garuda Indonesia said in a press statement that its Jakarta-Amsterdam route does not pass through Ukraine, but over Turkey and Hungary.