The Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran’s international airport Wednesday was shot down by mistake by an Iranian anti-aircraft missile, Pentagon officials told Fox News.
The revelation comes as Ukrainian investigators reportedly are awaiting permission from Iranian authorities Thursday to examine the crash site and look for missile fragments. Iran has denied that a missile took down the Boeing 737 bound for Kiev, and its officials have blamed a technical malfunction for the aircraft’s demise.
“A strike by a missile, possibly a Tor missile system, is among the main (theories), as information has surfaced on the internet about elements of a missile being found near the site of the crash,” Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s Security Council, told Ukrainian media. He did not elaborate on where he saw the information.
The above is an excerpt from Fox News.
UK sources told the Guardian that British officials had seen intelligence that suggested that the plane was hit by an Iranian air defence missile.
Western intelligence agencies are understood to have picked up signals of the missile launch, followed by the traces of an explosion. A British source said: “The assessment is that it looks like it is a tragic accident.” One report suggested that two missiles were involved, but this could not immediately be confirmed.
Separately, officials told US media they had identified the signature from an Iranian anti-aircraft missile battery being activated shortly before the aircraft crashed into countryside south-west of the Iranian capital, killing all on 176 on board. The officials also said they had identified the infrared signature from two suspected missile launches followed shortly afterwards by the infrared blip from the burning and fatally disabled aircraft.
The above is an excerpt from the Guardian.