After initially saying the plane crashed because of a technical problem, then maintaining there was no evidence to show one of its missiles had struck the plane, the Iranian military said on Saturday that the Boeing 737-800 Ukraine International (UR-PSR) was accidentally shot down with a surface-to-air missile. 167 passengers and 9 crew members lost their lives.
Early on Saturday morning, the Iranian military’s statement said the plane “took the flying posture and altitude of an enemy target” as it came close to an Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps base. It said that “under these circumstances, because of human error,” the plane “came under fire.” The military was at its “highest level of readiness,” it said, amid the heightened tensions with the United States. “In such a condition, because of human error and in a unintentional way, the flight was hit,” the military said. Also today, Iran said it will send the jet’s black boxes to France, as it lacks the needed technology to decode them.
#PS752 / Ukrainian investigation team has released new images showing shrapnel damage on Boeing 737-800’s…
The statement said that the person responsible for shooting down the plane would face legal consequences, and that the military would undertake “major reform in operations of all armed forces” to make sure that such an error never happened again. It said Revolutionary Guards officials had been ordered to appear on state media and give the public a full explanation. On Twitter, President Hassan Rouhani of Iran said “investigations continue to identify and prosecute this great tragedy and unforgivable mistake.”
“A sad day,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted. “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.” Bound for Kyiv, the Boeing 737-800 had 167 passengers and 9 crew members on-board, including 82 Iranians, 57 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians, according to officials. File photo: UIA.
The head of the Iran’s Civil Aviation Authority confirmed to CNN that the below footage, timestamped 6:19 AM on Wednesday, January 8th, is authentic. Viewer discretion is advised.
— Shehan Madawa 🇱🇰 (@shehanmlive) January 9, 2020
It’s an outrage that a civil aircraft—an instrument of peace—is downed even inadvertently by military action.
— IATA (@IATA) January 11, 2020
Here we go. Video footage of an Iranian Tor M1 missile bringing down the 737-800, Ukrainian International Airlines flight PS752. This certainly contradicts Iran's "engine failure" narrative. pic.twitter.com/CyMjASAlFI
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) January 9, 2020