A dramatic video appears to show the moment that Ukrainian Flight 752 was shot down by a missile. You can watch the video later in this article.
Iran now admits shooting down the plane, saying it was done accidentally due to human error.
FARS, which is Iran’s semi-official news agency, wrote, “The General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces said in a statement on Saturday that the Ukrainian Boeing 737 plane was shot down as a hostile object due to human error at a time of heightened US threats of war.”
The story added: “An expert investigation by the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces after the Ukrainian airline company’s Boeing 737 incident has found that flight 752 of the Ukrainian airlines has been shot down as a hostile flying object that was approaching a sensitive IRGC center and was shot down due to human error few hours after Iran’s missile attack on the US and as Iran’s military was expecting attacks by the US army.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a statement: “Armed Forces’ internal investigation has concluded that regrettably missiles fired due to human error caused the horrific crash of the Ukrainian plane & death of 176 innocent people. Investigations continue to identify & prosecute this great tragedy & unforgivable mistake. The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake. My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families. I offer my sincerest condolences.”
He added, in a statement posted to his official Twitter account: “The tragedy of the stampede at Gen. Soleimani’s funeral in Kerman and the crash of a Ukrainian passenger plane in Tehran that killed numerous Iranians, including a group of students, as well as other nationalities, deeply saddens all Iranians. May they rest in peace.”
The video was verified by The New York Times, which reported that the video shows the plane “above Parand, near Tehran’s airport,” which is where its signal stopped transmitting. The New York Times’ analysis of the video showed that the plane didn’t explode in the air when the missile hit it, but instead kept flying and turned back to the airport.
It caught fire and eventually exploded and crashed, as other videos earlier showed. Here’s the video:
Other were also investigating the video.
Both the prime ministers of Canada and Great Britain now say they think an Iranian missile brought down the plane.
“There is now a body of information that the flight was shot down by an Iranian Surface to Air Missile. This may well have been unintentional. We are working closely with Canada and our international partners and there now needs to be a full, transparent investigation,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement.
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau made similar comments in a news conference, saying that intelligence sources have given him evidence that the plane was struck by a missile. It “may well have been unintentional,” the prime minister said, but he didn’t commit to that for sure.
Christiaan Triebert does visual investigations for The New York Times. He gave additional details on Twitter about how the Times authenticated the video. “The person who captured the moment started filming after hearing ‘some sort of shot fired,’ the @nytimes learned,” Triebert wrote. “The preliminary report by the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization also stated that #PS752 turned right after take-off, so deviating from its intended path to Kyiv, and then managed to head back in the direction of the airport while being on fire.” Here is that report.
The report says, “The flight continued to climb while controlled by Imam Khomeini control tower, then was delivered to approach unit at Mehrabad Airport, and was approved to climb to 26’000 feet. After losing contact with ATC Unit at time 06:18, the aircraft crashed near Sabashahr, located on Tehran outskirts. The aircraft had 167 passengers and nine crew members on board, all of whom were killed in the accident.”
It adds that “the aircraft climbed to an altitude of 8’000 feet and turned to the right, when it disappeared off the approach radar scope, and by losing height, it impacted the ground and disintegrated. No radio communication indicating the unusual conditions was received from the pilot. According to witnesses (people on ground as well as the crew of the passing flights in higher altitudes observing and reporting the event), a fire appeared on the aircraft which was intensifying, then impacted the ground causing an explosion. The crash site track indicates that the aircraft was first approaching west to exit the airport boundary, but turned right following a technical problem, and had a track showing returning to the airport.” That “technical problem,” US authorities now believe, was Iran shooting a missile at the plane.
Here’s what you need to know:
Numerous News Sites Are Quoting Officials as Saying They Believe the Plane Was Likely Shot Down by an Iranian Missile, Perhaps Accidentally
U.S. officials are now “confident” that Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752 was “shot down by Iran,” CBS News is reporting. Newsweek is making a similar claim, reporting that the plane was likely “struck by an anti-aircraft missile system.” President Donald Trump told a CNN reporter that he doesn’t think mechanical problems brought down the plane.
The New York Times, CNN and other top news organization are now reporting the same information. The Times reported that officials have a “high level of confidence” that an Iranian missile “accidentally shot down” the plane, which crashed minutes into takeoff from the Tehran airport.
Newsweek reported that its sources were “a Pentagon official, a senior U.S. intelligence official and an Iraqi intelligence official.” They were not named but told Newsweek that Iran likely shot the plane down, with 176 souls onboard, by “mistake.” CBS News also reported that “missile components were found near the crash site.”
Ukraine had previously said it was “considering terrorism, a missile strike and catastrophic engine failure as potential causes for the crash,” reported CNN, which is now also reporting that the U.S. “increasingly believes” a missile strike is most likely due to “analysis of data from satellites, radar and electronic data.”
Newsweek reported that the officials believe the plane was shot down “by a Russia-built Tor-M1 surface-to-air missile system, known to NATO as Gauntlet,” and that the anti-aircraft missile system was likely active because of Iran’s earlier missile attacks against Iraqi bases that house American soldiers. Censor.net.ua, an Ukranian news site, reported that Ukrainian investigators are studying the possible “destruction of the aircraft by an anti-aircraft missile (SAM), in particular, ‘Thor’ SAM, as information on the detection of fragments of a Russian missile near the crash site has already appeared on the Internet.”
CBS News reporter Kris Van Cleave wrote on January 9, 2020: “.@cbsnews: US officials are confident Ukrainian Flt 752 was shot down by Iran. US intelligence picked up signals of the radar being turned on & satellite detected infrared blips of 2 missile launches, probably SA-15s, followed shortly by another infrared blip of an explosion.” Newsweek reported that photos show “what appeared to be fragments of a Tor M-1 missile said to have been found in a suburb southwest of Tehran.”
You can see a complete passenger list of the 176 people who died on the doomed aircraft here. They included 63 Canadians, 3 British citizens, and 82 Iranians. Some of the passengers were small children. CBC reported, “U.S. officials have shared intelligence with Canada to back up the view that it’s ‘highly likely’ that Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 was brought down by an Iranian missile.”
Iranian media had claimed right after the crash that engine problems brought down the plane.
READ NEXT: Ukrainian Plane Passenger List.