‘Highly likely’ Iran downed Ukraine jet


Manchester Evening News - - WORLD -

IT IS “highly likely” that an Ira­nian anti-air­craft mis­sile downed a Ukrainian jet­liner, killing all 176 peo­ple on board, two US of­fi­cials said.

The crash came just a few hours af­ter Iran launched a bal­lis­tic mis­sile at­tack against Iraqi mil­i­tary bases hous­ing US troops.

The mis­sile at­tack came amid a con­fronta­tion with Washington over the US drone strike that killed an Ira­nian gen­eral last week.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump sug­gested he be­lieves Iran was re­spon­si­ble and would not di­rectly lay the blame on Iran, but dis­missed their claims that it was a me­chan­i­cal is­sue – and de­nied any US re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“Some­body could have made a mis­take on the other side,” Mr Trump said, not­ing the plane was fly­ing in a “pretty rough neigh­bour­hood”.

“Some peo­ple say it was me­chan­i­cal,” Mr Trump added.

“I per­son­ally don’t think that’s even a ques­tion.”

Mean­while, Boris John­son used a phone call with Ukrainian Pres­i­dent Volodymyr Ze­len­sky to call for a “full, cred­i­ble and trans­par­ent in­ves­ti­ga­tion” fol­low­ing the plane crash.

Asked whether there were any con­cerns about the cause of the dis­as­ter, a Num­ber 10 spokesman said: “I’m not go­ing to spec­u­late on this but the re­ports we have seen are very con­cern­ing and we are ur­gently look­ing into them.”

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