TEHRAN (Iran): A Ukrainian airplane which crashed in ran, killing all 176 people aboard, was likely brought down by an Iranian missile. On Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canada had intelligence from multiple sources indicating that a Ukrainian airliner which crashed outside Tehran was mistakenly shot down by Iran.
“We have intelligence from multiple sources, including our allies and our own intelligence, that indicates the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile,” he said. “This may well have been unintentional.”
PHOTOS: Possible ‘seeker head’ of a Tor-M1 missile that was allegedly photographed at the site of deadly plane crash in Iran pic.twitter.com/w4VJTDUnjT
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“We know this may have been unintentional. Canadians have questions, and they deserve answers,” Trudeau told reporters. Trudeau’s comments came as images posted on social media increasingly pointed to a catastrophic mistake by Tehran’s air defense batteries bringing the down Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 in flames on Wednesday. Citing information from allies as well as Canada’s own intelligence, Justin Trudeau said the plane appeared to have been hit by an Iranian surface-to-air (SAM) missile.
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Earlier Thursday, a U.S. official not authorized to speak publicly had confirmed to USA media that a missile appeared to be the likely cause of the plane crash.
The confirmation came after reports on social media appeared to show the guidance section of a SA-15 Gauntlet short-range, surface-to-air missile having landed in a garden near the crash site. London-based global information firm IHS Markit said it could not confirm the authenticity of the photos but “assesses them to be credible.”
Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 crashed hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on Iraqi bases housing U.S. soldiers.Iran’s attack was retaliation after the killing of one of its top officials, Gen. Qasem Soleimani, in a U.S. drone strike that has drawn a mixed reaction from U.S. and world leaders.
President Trump said Thursday he found the plane crash suspicious and that “somebody could have made a mistake on the other side.”
Canada’s theory was swiftly backed up by other Western leaders, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson who said mounting evidence supported an Iranian missile strike, which “may well have been unintentional”.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that there was now “a body of information” that the Ukrainian Boeing 747 that crashed in Iran was brought down by an Iranian missile. “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,” Johnson said in a statement on the air disaster in which four British passengers died.
Even the US government believes Iran shot down the plane by mistake, three U.S. officials told Reuters. The data showed the plane was airborne for two minutes after departing Tehran when the heat signatures of two surface-to-air missiles were detected, one of the officials told Reuters.
But, Iran has asked Canada to share any information it has regarding the Ukrainian airliner crash after Candian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that his country has intelligence from several sources to prove that Tehran has shot down the aeroplane.
“[Iran] asks the Canadian prime minister and any other government to share information on this incident they possess to the committee in charge of investigating the incident in Iran,” Sputnik quoted a statement by Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi. Mousavi added that Iran had invited Ukrainian experts as well as representatives of the Boeing company to join the investigation into causes of the crash.
The Boeing 737 jet with 176 people on board including 63 Canadians crashed minutes after taking off from Tehran on Wednesday morning. Eighty-two Iranians, 63 Canadians, and 11 Ukrainians died in the crash, which took place between the cities of Parand and Shahriar. There were also 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans and three British nationals among the victims.