US officials have stated that on January 8, Iran shot down a Ukrainian airliner with two Russian-made surface-to-air missiles.
All 176 passengers on board were killed. They included 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans, and three British nationals.
The crash of Ukrainian International Airlines flight PS752 came just hours after three rockets landed in Baghdad’s Green Zone.
New footage has emerged of what appears to be an Iranian anti-aircraft missile hitting the aircraft. It is thought that the Irainians might have mistaken the commercial airliner for a US warplane.
Pentagon and senior US intelligence officials as well as an Iraqi intelligence official have stated that they believe the passenger flight was hit by a Russian-made Tor missile.
Trudeau believes the act was “unintentional”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that he believes the airliner may have been mistakenly shot down.
“This may have been unintentional,” Trudeau said at a press conference in Ottawa, Canada.
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stated that his country has evidence that the crash was not due to a technical failure but rather was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.
Both Trudeau and Johnson have called for a thorough investigation into what caused the crash but would not provide additional details into the evidence their intelligence services have gathered.
Foreign help needed in black box investigation
Iran’s Civil Aviation Authority chief, Ali Abedzadeh, said the country may need outside help to decode the black box from the Ukrainian airliner as it had been recovered badly damaged.
“Generally speaking, Iran has the potential and know-how to decode the black box. Everybody knows that. However, the black box of this Ukrainian Boeing 737 is very damaged,” Abedzadeh stated, adding that Ukrainian Aviation experts would arrive in Tehran on January 9 to begin decoding the data retrieved from the black box.
“If the available equipment is not enough to get the content, Iran will outsource the boxes to experts from France or Canada,” he said.
Abedzadeh further said that the outcome of the investigation will be made public.
The recent history of surface-to-air missiles shooting down aircraft
This isn’t the first time a commercial airline has been the target of surface-to-air missiles, especially with regards to Ukraine.
In July 2014, a Malaysian Airlines flight was struck down by a surface-to-air missile over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people aboard.