The Ukrainian airplane that crashed earlier this week after taking off from Tehran is believed to have been downed by a Russian-supplied missile fired by Iran. According to international media reports, the United States intelligence detected two-surface-to-air missile launches just before the plane exploded in mid-air and missile components were discovered near the air crash site. However, the Iranian officials have reportedly said that engine failure caused the crash.
The Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 crashed on January 8 and approximately at the same time Iran also launched 16 ballistic missiles on Iraqi bases housing US soldiers. According to reports, US intelligence sensors showed Iranian air-defence radar had locked onto the passenger plane and brought the plane down in a fiery crash, however, it is still unclear if the Ukrainian airliner was mistaken as a threat by the Iranian military.
The National Transportation Safety Board further released a statement in which they said that they have “designated an accredited representative to the investigation of the crash, involving a Boeing 737-800”. the authorities further also said that they will continue to “monitor the situation around the crash and evaluate its level of participation in the investigation”.
UPDATE to NTSB Statement on Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 Crash Investigation pic.twitter.com/A6HPOl5Ow8— NTSB_Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) January 10, 2020
Out of the 176 people who were killed on board, 63 were Canadian citizens and they were expecting to fly on to Toronto from Kyiv. On January 10, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau addressed the media and cited reports from various intelligence agencies to state that the crashed Ukrainian passenger plane was in fact brought down by an Iranian missile. He added that “this may well have been unintentional”. Iran, on the other hand, quashed all the theories and claims of this possibility terming it as an “illogical rumour”.
Media reports quote US intelligence sources, who also claimed that the Ukranian aircraft could have been mistaken for a US warplane by the Iranians. US intelligence also stated that a satellite detected infrared "blips" of two missile launches, followed by another blip of an explosion. US President Donald Trump, in a statement, further blamed Iran for striking down the Ukranian aircraft.