BREAKING: U.S. Officials ‘Confident’ Ukraine Plane Was Shot Down By Iranian Missile
Multiple sources are reporting that U.S. military officials believe that the Ukraine plane crash outside of Tehran earlier this week – resulting in the deaths of all 176 people on board – was caused by an Iranian missile strike.
Newsweek reports that a Pentagon official, a senior U.S. intelligence official and an Iraqi intelligence official believe that a surface-to-air missile system shot at Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 minutes after it took flight from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airpot. The incident happened shortly after Iran launched missiles at Iraqi airbases housing U.S. forces as a retaliatory response to the airstrike that killed Qasem Soleimani.
From Newsweek’s report:
One Pentagon and one U.S senior intelligence official told Newsweek that the Pentagon’s assessment is that the incident was accidental. Iran’s anti-aircraft were likely active following the country’s missile attack, which came in response to the U.S. killing last week of Revolutionary Guard Quds Force commander Major General Qassem Soleimani, sources said.
On a separate but related note, CBS’ Kris Van Cleave reported that the Ukrainian government is investigating the crash, having assessed that a missile strike was among the four possible causes for the crash. The other three suspected possibilities are a mid-air collision with a drone or “other flying object,” an in-plane explosion on the plane “as a result of a terrorist attack,” or a technical failure that caused the engine to blow up.
Van Cleave has followed up by corroborating Newsweek’s reporting and saying “US officials are confident Ukrainian Flt 752 was shot down by Iran.”
The currently thinking is the plane was mistakenly targeted. Remember it took off just hours after Iran launched its missile attack while the world waited to see if the U.S. would respond militarily.
— Kris Van Cleave (@krisvancleave) January 9, 2020