There is evidence to suggest that a Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 that crashed in Iran was shot down by a missile, according to Western leaders.
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said during a press conference that he had received intelligence from multiple sources that indicated the passenger plane, which was carrying 176 people on board, was hit by an Iranian surface-to-air missile. However, he added it was possible this was done in error.
Meanwhile, Newsweek has quoted senior US and Iraqi officials who said they believe the aircraft was hit by a Russian-made Tor missile. President Donald Trump said he has “suspicions” about the incident.
The aircraft crashed shortly after take-off from Tehran’s airport en route to Kyiv, killing all passengers and crew. Among the flight’s manifesto were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians, as well as nationals of Sweden, the UK, Afghanistan and Germany.
Iranian investigators recovered the plane’s black boxes but initially said it would not hand the recorders over to Boeing or the US, though both are cooperating in the investigation. Officials in Iran said they have ruled out a missile strike as the cause of the crash.
The chief of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organisation (CAOI), Ali Abedzadeh, said: “Scientifically, it is impossible that a missile hit the Ukrainian plane, and such rumours are illogical.”
Yesterday, the CAOI released its initial findings, saying the aircraft’s pilots were attempting to turn back to the airport before it crashed. They said it was “on fire” after experiencing a problem.
Mobile phone footage taken on the night of the crash appears to show the aircraft in flames as it went down.
The crash happened just hours after Iran carried out a ballistic missile attack on US military bases in Iraq in retaliation for the Trump-ordered killing of its top general Qasem Solaimani.
Some airlines are re-routing planes around Iranian and Iraqi air space as a precaution.