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U.S. INTELLIGENCE SUSPECTS THAT UKRAINE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT 752 WAS SHOT DOWN BY AN IRANIAN MISSILE

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WASHINGTON D.C. – According to U.S. officials, the Ukrainian International Boeing 737-800 probably crashed after being hit by an Iranian missile. The aircraft was hit over the city of Parand and crashed near the city of Khalaj Abad. Ukrainian Flight PS752, en route from Tehran to Kyiv, crashed just 2 minutes after takeoff from Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran, Iran. All 176 people on board – passengers and crew – were killed in the accident.

Canada is grieving the loss of 63 Canadians killed in the Ukrainian plane crash in Iran. These passengers were mainly Iranians living in Canada and young Iranians studying in Canada. Video. CTV News

Accident or accidentally shot down?

Questions were rising shortly after the Ukraine International Boeing 737-800 went down, just 2 minutes after takeoff from Tehran’s airport, killing all people on board. Did the aircraft suffered a technical emergency or was Flight PS752 shot down?

The crash occurred just a few hours after Iran had launched missiles towards 2 U.S. bases in Iraq. Based on evidence from US reconnaissance satellite images, U.S. officials are now saying that Iran probably shot down Flight PS752 accidentally, with a Russian-made Tor-M1 anti-aircraft missile.

U.S. Intelligence satellites detected infrared blips of 2 missile launches and signals were picked up by radar being turned on at the moment the Ukrainian passenger aircraft was flying in the area where the missiles were launched. Moments later another infrared blip of an explosion was detected.

Flight MH17

There are similarities with Flight MH17, when a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was accidentally shot down in 2014, while flying at high altitude over Ukraine. Photos of the crash site in Iran show pieces of the Boeing 737’s fuselage and tail with similar holes to the ones identified on Malaysia’s Boeing 777.

Flight MH17 remains a mistery up to today, although U.S. Intelligence also said in 2014 that the Malaysian Boeing 777 was accidentally shot down by an anti-aircraft missile, a Russian Buk missile.

Iran’s Civil Aviation Organisation investigation

The head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organisation (CAO) Ali Abedzadeh said: “The plane, which was initially headed west to leave the airport zone, turned right following a problem and was headed back to the airport at the moment of the crash.”

Iran’s conservative Mehr News Agency also published comments from Ali Abedzadeh, saying: “We will not give the black box to the manufacturer and the Americans.”

“This accident will be investigated by Iran’s aviation organisation but the Ukrainians can also be present,” Abedzadeh added.

Ukrainian President’s statement

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a statement on television that “a thorough and independent investigation will be conducted in accordance with international law”, and that he would speak to Iranian leaders to step up cooperation in investigating the crash.

The Ukrainian President also said that air crash investigators from the Ukraine had arrived in Iran to assist in the investigation.

“Thank you Justin Trudeau for your offer to support Ukraine in investigating the plane crash in Iran. For both our countries, it’s a shared pain. Our thoughts are with the families of the citizens of Canada who died in this crash,” Zelensky also said on Twitter on Thursday.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement, only hours after the crash on Wednesday.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a press conference on Thursday: “What happened yesterday is a tragedy, not only for Canada, but also for the world.”

Evidence indicates the plane was shot down by Iranian missile,” Trudeau said. “This may well have been unintentional.”

“We have intelligence from multiple sources, including our allies and our own intelligence,” he said.

Of the 176 people who were killed in the crash, at least 63 were Canadians.

“New information reinforces the need for a thorough investigation into the crash,” Trudeau said. “Canadians have questions, and they deserve answers.” 

While Ukrainian and Canadian air crash investigators are in Iran to investigate what caused this tragedy, aircraft manufacturer Boeing is still not welcome in Iran.

Update:

☆ Iran has invited the U.S. NTSB to take part in its investigation into the crash of Ukraine Flight PS752. The NTSB has agreed to send an investigator, an Iranian official said on Thursday to Reuters.

☆ Iran has admitted on Saturday its military had accidently shot down the Ukraine International Boeing 737-800 of Flight 752, killing all 176 people aboard.

☆☆☆

(Head photo: Fars News Agency / Wikimedia)

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