In the latest development of US-Iran tensions, Tehran has admitted 'unintentionally' shooting down the Ukrainian jetliner citing 'human error' and killing 176 people. The Boeing 737-700 crashed shortly after take-off on January 8, the same day Iran fired multiple missiles on Iraqi bases housing US troops in retaliation to the killing of Iran's top commander Qassem Soleimani. Here's the timeline of events that led to Boeing jetliner's shooting.
On January 3, US President Donald Trump directed an airstrike at Baghdad international airport, killing Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), an Iraqi state-sponsored umbrella organisation. Soleimani was reportedly pivotal to Iran’s covert operations in the Middle East.
Soon after the multi-national funeral of Soleimani ended with thousands of people flooding the streets dressed in black, Iran announced on January 5 that it will no longer abide by the nuclear deal of 2015. In addition to that, Iran's parliament held a non-binding vote to declare US forces as 'terrorists' and called for their expulsion. Nearly 5,200 American troops are based in Iraq to help prevent a resurgence of the Islamic State. The Nuclear deal was signed by Tehran with the P5+1 nations during the leadership of former US President Barack Obama.
On the morning of January 8, Iran fired multiple missiles on Iraqi military bases housing the US troops and called it its retaliation to Soleimani killing. Iraq's military in a statement on January 8 reportedly said that a total of 22 missiles struck two bases housing US troops, but there were no Iraqi casualties. They further added that between 1:45am and 2:15am Iraq was hit by missiles out of which 17 on the Ain al-Asad airbase and five on the city of Erbil. Trump, however, broke his silence over the missile attack by Iran on US Airbase In Iraq and tweeted 'All is well'.
On the same day, Iran targetted Iraqi bases, a Ukrainian jetliner crashed shortly after take-off outside Tehran killing 176 people reportedly including 63 Canadians. Even though, American, British, and Canadian officials said that their intelligence sources indicate that it is 'highly likely' that Iran shot down the jetliner after being 'mistakenly identified' as a threat, Iran had denied all claims until January 11. Rouhani along with Zarif officially admitted that Iran had 'unintentionally' shot down the plane due to 'human error' and offered condolences to victims.
Armed Forces’ internal investigation has concluded that regrettably missiles fired due to human error caused the horrific crash of the Ukrainian plane & death of 176 innocent people.— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) January 11, 2020
Investigations continue to identify & prosecute this great tragedy & unforgivable mistake. #PS752
A sad day. Preliminary conclusions of internal investigation by Armed Forces:— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 11, 2020
Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster
Our profound regrets, apologies and condolences to our people, to the families of all victims, and to other affected nations.