Trudeau Says Iran May Have Mistakenly Downed Ukraine Air Jet
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday said there is credible evidence to show that Iran was responsible for the crash of a Ukrainian passenger flight that killed more than 170 people — including dozens of Canadian citizens.
“Intelligence from multiple sources indicates the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile,” Trudeau said Thursday at a news conference, adding that the incident “may well have been unintentional.”
Sixty-three Canadians were onboard the Boeing 737, which crashed Wednesday, shortly after taking off from Tehran en route to Kyiv. There were no survivors.
The plane crashed hours after Iran fired missiles at military bases in Iraq that housed American troops. The attack was carried out in retaliation for a drone strike last week that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani as his convoy departed Baghdad International Airport.
Iran has claimed that a “technical” error was responsible for the plane crash. However, aviation experts said the evidence pointed more toward the plane being shot down.
Video obtained and verified by the New York Times this week and published on Thursday also showed the Ukrainian jetliner being struck by what the outlet said appeared to be a missile “above Parand, near Tehran’s airport,” in the area where its signal stopped transmitting on Wednesday.
“A small explosion occurred when a missile hit the plane, but the plane did not explode, the video showed. The jet continued flying for several minutes and turned back toward the airport,” the Times reported.
Earlier on Thursday, Donald Trump suggested that Iran was behind the plane crash, and that the country might have fired at the plane by “mistake.”
“It’s a tragic thing when I see that, it’s a tragic thing. But somebody could’ve made a mistake on the other side,” Trump said. “It was flying … in a pretty rough neighborhood. … Some people say it was mechanical. Personally, I don’t think that’s even a question.”
Unnamed U.S. officials told reporters the same: that Iran fired missiles at the plane, though the attack may have been a mistake.
Trudeau, for his part, vowed to seek justice.
“Canadians want answers, I want answers,” he tweeted on Thursday afternoon. “That means closure, transparency accountability, and justice. And this government will not rest until we get that.”
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.