US intelligence reportedly indicates that Iran accidentally shot down the Ukrainian Airlines plane and then realised its mistake
- US intelligence indicates Iran accidentally shot down a Ukrainian Airlines plane and then quickly realised it had made a mistake, according to The Daily Beast.
- Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 crashed outside the Iranian capital of Tehran on Wednesday shortly after taking off, killing all 176 people on board.
- Iranian authorities have claimed that the plane crashed due to technical problems, though US, British, and Canadian intelligence have said it was likely shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.
- Two US government sources told The Daily Beast that intelligence intercepts showed that Iran quickly realised that it had shot down the plane, which it knew should not have been a military target.
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US intelligence indicates Iran accidentally shot down a Ukrainian Airlines plane and then realised its mistake, according to The Daily Beast.
Two US government sources told The Daily Beast that intelligence intercepts showed that Iranian civil aviation officials knew the plane should not have been a military target and understood that it had shot down the plane on accident. The US Department of Defense did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 crashed outside the Iranian capital of Tehran on Wednesday shortly after taking off. None of the 176 people on board, including 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, and 11 Ukrainians, survived.
Authorities are still investigating what caused the fatal crash, which took place shortly after Iranian forces launched missiles at US and coalition forces in Iraq in response to a US airstrike that killed a top Iranian general last week.
Iranian authorities have claimed that the plane crashed due to technical problems, though US, British, and Canadian intelligence have said it was likely shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile. Video posted online also appears to show the impact of the suspected strike.
Ukrainian Airlines has defended the quality of the relatively new Boeing 737 jet and its crew. This is the airline's first fatal accident in its history.
Iran's Civil Aviation Authority head, Ali Abedzadeh, told CNN that the black box has been recovered, though decoding the information may be difficult as the recorder was damaged. Abedzadeh also said this week that the country "will not give the black boxes to the manufacturer and the Americans."
Iran has also reportedly used bulldozers to move around debris from the crash site, potentially destroying evidence which could help determine exactly what happened.
President Donald Trump on Thursday speculated that Iran accidentally shot down the plane.
"I have my suspicions. I don't want to say that because other people have their suspicions also," he said. "Some people say it was mechanical. I personally don't think that's even a question."
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also cast doubt on the Iranian version of the event, saying on Thursday that Canada also had intelligence which showed that "the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile," though it may not have been intentional.
On Thursday, Iranian state media said that authorities have invited Boeing to take part in the investigation into the crash.
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