The prime ministers of Canada and Great Britain now believe that Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752 was shot down by an Iranian missile, catching fire, before it crashed and exploded, killing all 176 souls on board. Their statements come after multiple prominent news organizations reported that U.S. officials also think Iran brought down the plane.
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.”
In addition, video emerged, which you can see later in this article, which appears to show the moment the missile hit the aircraft.
“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.
CBS News reported that U.S. officials are now “confident” that the plane was shot down by Iran. Newsweek made a similar claim, reporting that officials now believe 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. According to The Times, 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.
Although authorities haven’t verified the claim officially, dramatic video appears to show the moment that Ukrainian Flight 752 was shot down by a missile. 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.
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.”
According to Newsweek, 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.”
Here’s what you need to know:
President Trump Told a CNN Reporter ‘I have My Suspicions’ But Said ‘a Mistake’ Might Have Occurred
CNN reporter Daniel Dale quoted President Donald Trump as saying, when asked what he thinks happened to the plane, “Well, I have my suspicions. It was very — I don’t want to say that…other people have those suspicions also.” He added that someone “on the other side” could have “made a mistake.”
Dale added that “Trump says he does not think the plane crashed because of mechanical reasons,” quoting the president as saying, “I have a feeling…something very terrible happened. Very devastating.”
The New York Times reported that Trump also said: “Not our system. It has nothing to do with us.”
The Ukrainian Airlines passenger plane crashed in Tehran, Iran, killing all 176 people it was carrying to Kiev, according to Ukraine’s foreign minister. Flight 752 hurtled, on fire, into a farm field a few minutes after takeoff from the Tehran airport. There were no survivors on the Boeing 737. Ukraine has now called for a criminal investigation. Ukrainian Airlines officials had argued that the plane was relatively new with an experienced flight crew and no technical problems.
The missile theory has had currency on the Internet since the crash occurred.
The plane crash came on the same day that Iran launched the missiles at Iraqi bases that house American soldiers, but there were no casualties from those attacks. The Iranian missile strikes toward the Iraqi bases were reprisal for America’s drone attack that killed Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani.
The American attack on Soleimani was itself reprisal for a series of Iranian-backed actions, including the murder of an Iraq-born American linguist who was working with the military. His name is Nawres Hamid, and he lived in Sacramento, California but was killed in Iraq.
Iran claimed engine malfunction was the likely cause of the plane crash. Initially, the Ukrainian Embassy seemed to embrace that belief. The Canadian network, CBC, reported, though, that Ukrainian officials “later backed away and declined to offer a cause while the investigation is ongoing.” The president of Ukraine later called for the criminal investigation. A state commission investigating the crash for Ukraine has now landed in Tehran.
The Doomed Plane Was Almost Completely Obliterated & Video Showed It Was on Fire as It Fell
The plane was almost completely obliterated.
Photos that emerged from the scene are grim and graphic (they show body bags); what they don’t show is much left of the jet, Flight PS752, as relief workers picked through the wreckage looking, to no avail, for survivors. The plane was doomed only two minutes after taking off at 6:10 a.m. from Tehran.
Video emerged through Iranian-controlled media showing the plane on fire before it crashed with an explosion.
“The aircraft departed from Tehran International Airport at 06:10hrs. Iran local time,” Ukraine International Airline wrote in a statement.
“According to preliminary data, there were 167 passengers and 9 crew members on board. UIA representatives are currently clarifying the exact number of passengers on board. The flight was operated on a Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft (registration UR-PSR). The aircraft was built in 2016 and delivered directly to the airline from the manufacturer. The last scheduled maintenance of the aircraft took place on 06 January, 2020.”
There were no survivors.
The Passenger List Included Many Canadians & Iranians But Also People From Five Other Countries
According to CNN, the Ukrainian foreign minister said people from these nationalities were on board the doomed aircraft.
– 82 Iranians
– 63 Canadians
– 11 Ukrainians
– 10 Swedes
– 4 Afghans
– 3 Germans
– 3 British nationals
According to Kyiv Post, most of the plane’s passengers were ultimately destined for Toronto.
The airline released a statement, saying that the flight crew consisted of three pilots:
Captain Volodymyr Gaponenko (11600 hours on Boeing 737aircraft including 5500 hours as captain);
Instructor pilot Oleksiy Naumkin (12000 hours on Boeing 737 aircraft including 6600 hours as captain);
First officer Serhii Khomenko (7600 hours on Boeing 737 aircraft).
“Tehran airport is anything but a simple one,” the airline wrote. “Therefore, for several years UIA has been using this airport to conduct training on Boeing 737 aircraft aimed at evaluating pilots’ proficiency and ability to act in emergency cases. According to our records, the aircraft ascended as high as 2400 meters. Given the crew’s experience, error probability is minimal. We do not even consider such a chance.” There were also six flight attendants on the aircraft.
The names of the three British victims have now been released. They are Sam Zokaei, Mohammad Reza Kadkhoda-Zadeh, and Saeed Tahmasebi.
According to UK Mirror, Kadkhoda-Zadeh, 40, was a father of one who was visiting family in Iran for Christmas and lived in Brighton. The site reports that Saeed was originally from Iran and “had been on his way back to the UK with his wife, who he had only recently married.” Zokaei “worked for BP as a senior reservoir engineer and lived in London,” according to Mirror.
According to CBC, 167 of the dead were passengers and 9 were crew members. Staff at Boryspil International Airport in Kyiv told The Associated Press that “passengers on this flight are usually Iranian students returning to Ukraine after winter holidays,” CBC reported.
“Tragic news regarding Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752,” wrote Canada’s minister of government affairs, François-Philippe Champagne. “Our hearts are with the loved ones of the victims, including many Canadians. I have been in touch with the government of Ukraine. We will continue to keep Canadians informed as the situation evolves. #PS752.”
The Iranian news agency, IRNA, reported that the dead included Iranians, among them “a young student.”
Kyiv Post says most of the passengers “were foreign citizens using Kyiv as a stopover for further travels.” The newspaper quoted the head of the airline, Yevhen Dykhne, as saying, “I guarantee that all of our planes are fit to fly. There weren’t any problems with the plane.”
Iranian Media Claimed Engine Failure Caused the Plane Crash
Iranian media gave the cause as engine malfunction. The Ukrainian Embassy in Tehran posted the following statement, according to CNN: “According to preliminary information, the plane crashed due to an engine malfunction. The version of the terrorist attack or rocket attack is currently excluded.” However, that’s the statement Ukraine later walked back.
The president of Ukraine warned against speculation, writing on Facebook, “I ask everyone to keep from speculating and putting forth unconfirmed theories about the crash.”
Iran is refusing to hand over the black boxes from the flight, according to CNN. CBC reported that the “pilot couldn’t communicate with air-traffic controllers in Tehran in the last moments of the flight.”
Flight Radar 24 wrote, “We are following reports that a Ukrainian 737-800 has crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran. #PS752 departed Tehran at 02:42UTC. Last ADS-B data received at 02:44UTC.” Kyiv Post reported that the plane was new when the airline received it in 2016.
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