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Breaking: Iran admits to ‘unintentionally’ shooting down airliner that killed all 176 people on board

Breaking: Iran admits to ‘unintentionally’ shooting down airliner that killed all 176 people on board



·         Wreckage of the Boeing Co. 737-800 aircraft, operated by Ukraine International Airlines, which crashed shortly after takeoff lie on the ground near Shahedshahr, Iran, on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020.*

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

The Boeing 737-800 airliner, 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 American 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.”

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.

About Mikail Mumuni