U.S. officials say it's highly likely Iran shot down plane with anti-aircraft missile
Investigators are working to determine what caused the deadly crash of the Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 yesterday.
Initial assessments suspected the plane crashed due to a technical malfunction, but now investigators and aviation experts are studying possible alternate causes.
Ukraine's National Security and Defence council chief, Oleksiy Danilov, said a meeting was taking place with Iranian authorities, where various new causes behind the crash were being considered, including a theory that the plane was hit by an anti-aircraft missile, according to a statement on Facebook.
The statement cites other causes being considered including the possibility that there was a collision with another flying object, a collapse or explosion of the engine, or an explosion inside plane as result of a terrorist attack.
Danilov says the Ukrainian investigation into the crash incudes experts who participated in the investigation into the 2014 shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.
Assessment of the Ukrainian plane crash on the outskirts of Tehran by an Iranian Russian-built Tor-M1 surface-to-air missile system shows the incident may have been accidental, a Pentagon official and US intelligence official tell Newsweek.https://t.co/buKNYgL74z— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) January 9, 2020
Ukraine also said on Thursday its investigators wanted to search the crash site for possible Russian missile debris.
The US increasingly believes that Iran mistakenly shot down the Ukrainian airliner on Wednesday, according to multiple US officials.
The idea of a Russian-made surface-to-air missile system killing 176 people aboard a Ukrainian plane at a time when Ukraine and Russia are at war is sickening. We don't know for certain that's what happened, but U.S. officials are saying with "high confidence" they believe it is.— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) January 9, 2020
According to CNN, the working theory is based on continuing analysis of data from satellites, radar and electronic data collected routinely by US military and intelligence.
More @CBCNews: One American official said U.S. satellites had detected the launch of 2 missiles shortly before the plane crashed, followed by evidence of an explosion. Two officials said Washington believed the downing of the plane was accidental. https://t.co/p6AIRHZJqu— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) January 9, 2020
President Donald Trump on Thursday said he suspected the crash was not due to mechanical issues, indicating that "somebody could have made a mistake on the other side."
BREAKING: European security sources believe the US assessment - that Ukrainian airliner was shot down by accident by an Iranian anti-aircraft missile - is credible.— Deborah Haynes (@haynesdeborah) January 9, 2020
Iranian authorities initially said plane crashed because of technical failure
New reports also cite that there was no radio communication from the pilot, and the aircraft disappeared from radar at 2,440 metres.
Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, François-Philippe Champagne, said in a statement Thursday that he had a conversation with the Foreign Minister of Iran on Wednesday.
Last night, I spoke to my Iranian counterpart. Here is the readout of our conversation. pic.twitter.com/CHN1nDBrYJ— François-Philippe Champagne (FPC) 🇨🇦 (@FP_Champagne) January 9, 2020
Champagne said he stressed that Canadian officials need to be quickly granted access to Iran to provide consular services and to aid in the investigation of the crash.
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