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Iran admits it downed “unintentionally” the Ukrainian jet killing 176 people

Saturday, January 11th 2020 - 09:59 UTC
Full article 158 comments
The Boeing 737-800 airliner, Ukrainian International Airlines flight PS752, crashed five minutes after takeoff from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport on Wednesday The Boeing 737-800 airliner, Ukrainian International Airlines flight PS752, crashed five minutes after takeoff from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport on Wednesday
The attacks on the bases, which housed US forces, were in retaliation for the U.S. killing of Iranian commander Gen. Qasem Soleimani the previous week The attacks on the bases, which housed US forces, were in retaliation for the U.S. killing of Iranian commander Gen. Qasem Soleimani the previous week
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani took to Twitter to call the crash a “great tragedy” and “unforgivable mistake.” Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani took to Twitter to call the crash a “great tragedy” and “unforgivable mistake.”

Iran’s military early on Saturday morning announced its role in the downing of a Ukrainian passenger jet that killed all 176 people on board, saying the shootdown was “unintentional” and blaming “human error.”

The Boeing 737-800 airliner, Ukrainian International Airlines flight PS752, crashed five minutes after takeoff from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport on Wednesday Jan. 8, just hours after Iran fired a barrage of missiles at two military bases in Iraq. The attacks on the bases, which housed US forces, were in retaliation for the U.S. killing of Iranian commander Gen. Qasem Soleimani the previous week. Those attacks caused no casualties.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani took to Twitter to call the crash a “great tragedy” and “unforgivable mistake.”

“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,” Rouhani’s tweet said. “Investigations continue to identify & prosecute this great tragedy & unforgivable mistake.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif blamed America’s actions for the “human error,” writing on Twitter that Iran’s armed forces concluded that “Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster.”

Iran’s statement stressed that the error occurred during very high tensions with the U.S.

“After the threat of U.S. president and commanders of attacking several important place in our soil and the movement of U.S. planes in the region we were at the highest alert,” an English translation of the armed forces’ statement read.

“After the attacks the flights of U.S. planes increased in the region and reports came in from strategic centers and many targets were visible in the radar,” the statement went on. “In this sensitive moment the Ukrainian plane while approaching an IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) base was shot down after the plane’s unexpected and sharp turn, leading to the martyrdom of several of our fellow citizens and foreign nationals.”

The statement added that the person responsible for the shoot down of PS752 would face legal consequences, and that the military will undertake “major reform in operations of all armed forces” to ensure such “human errors” would not happen again.

Iran’s armed forces expressed “deepest condolences and sympathy” to the victims’ families. The flight, which was carrying 167 passengers and nine crew, was en route to Kiev, Ukraine. Eleven Ukrainians, 82 Iranians and at least 57 Canadians were also among those killed.

According to flight tracking data, the airliner took off just ten minutes after Zarif announced that the ballistic missile attacks against U.S. military targets had been concluded. Several international carriers and America’s Federal Aviation Authority had already suspended their Iran and Iraq flights after the Iranian missile attacks on the bases.

The Iranian admission comes after days of official denials from Tehran as the U.S. and Canadian governments, citing intelligence assessments, said the plane was most likely shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • Pugol-H

    The Iranians had no choice but to admit it, short of destroying all the wreckage and bodies they were not going to be able to cover it up.

    The Iranian people were already unhappy with their gov, right up until Donald J wacked Suleimani.

    Wouldn’t surprise me if some or other foreign secret service “arranged” for the missile battery to “accidentally” fire.

    Otherwise it doesn’t say much for the state of Iranian air defences, shooting down a plane squawking (transponder on) on an airport flight path used by dozens of civil aircraft every day.

    What would happen if they got into a major exchange of fire with the Americans?

    The Iranians are essentially playing bluff (even they know they cannot win), against an American president for whom bluffing is way too subtle to understand, and who is two sticks short of a bundle to start with.

    Good luck with that.

    Jan 12th, 2020 - 02:55 pm +2
  • Chicureo

    Well certainly it was a sad accident triggered by an automated SAM missile defense system. Too many innocent people died and apparently many Iranians are very angry with their own government.

    Jack, did you notice the pathetic accusation made against you by a adolescent mendacious basement dwelling idiot? Apparently you upset him with common sense and known fact.

    Using a nearly silent long range Reaper UAV armed with Hellfire missiles is diabolical.

    Jan 12th, 2020 - 03:33 am +1
  • Think

    Shicuréo...

    As you usually don't respond to me on the articles where I use common sense and known facts because those crash and squash your third world milico Weltanschauung..., I will take some more mundane approach and use this opportunity to kindly ask you to convey to your french cook the secret ingredient for the HÁKARL recipe..., sadly disclosed some time ago by one of me favourite musical geniuses...:
    (Minute 03:00) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mk6fnTzS848

    Jan 12th, 2020 - 07:06 am +1
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