US be­lieves Iran ac­ci­den­tally shot down Ukraine plane

The Punch - - NEWS | WORLD NEWS -

AUkraine air­liner that crashed in Iran, killing all 176 peo­ple on board, was most likely brought down ac­ci­den­tally by Ira­nian air de­fences, US of­fi­cials were re­ported as say­ing on Thurs­day, a con­clu­sion Iran re­port­edly dis­missed as “im­pos­si­ble”, Al­jazeera re­ports.

The Ukrainian In­ter­na­tional air­liner bound for the Ukrainian cap­i­tal, Kyiv, crashed min­utes af­ter take­off from the Imam Khome­ini In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Tehran amid es­ca­lat­ing ten­sions be­tween the United States and Iran.

One US of­fi­cial told Reuters news agency that US satel­lites had de­tected the launch of two mis­siles shortly be­fore the plane crashed, fol­lowed by ev­i­dence of an ex­plo­sion. Two of­fi­cials said Washington be­lieved the down­ing of the plane was ac­ci­den­tal. Newsweek, CBS and the As­so­ci­ated Press news agency also re­ported the US of­fi­cials’ as­sess­ments.

The Pen­tagon de­clined to com­ment.

Iran re­port­edly dis­missed the re­ports as “il­log­i­cal ru­mours”.

“It is im­pos­si­ble that a mis­sile hit the Ukrainian plane,” Iran’s head of civil avi­a­tion was quote by Iran’s INSA news agency as say­ing.

Olek­siy Danilov, Ukraine’s top se­cu­rity of­fi­cial, said ear­lier on Thurs­day that air­liner may have been brought down by a Rus­sian-made mis­sile.

Ac­cord­ing to Danilov, who is the sec­re­tary of Ukraine’s Na­tional Se­cu­rity and De­fense Coun­cil, a team of 45 Ukrainian ex­perts had ar­rived in Tehran to

ex­am­ine why the plane crashed. They were in­ves­ti­gat­ing other the­o­ries as well.

Back in Washington, US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said he had “sus­pi­cions” about the crash.

“It was fly­ing in a pretty rough neigh­bour­hood and some­body could have made a mis­take,” he said.

“Some peo­ple say it was me­chan­i­cal. I per­son­ally don’t think that’s even a ques­tion,” he added, with­out of­fer­ing any ev­i­dence for his con­clu­sion.

Iran: Ukraine plane caught fire but crew never called for help

A Ukrainian air­liner that crashed out­side of Tehran was on fire and try­ing to turn back but its crew never made a ra­dio call for help, Ira­nian in­ves­ti­ga­tors said, Al­jazeera re­ports.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.