TEHRAN, (BM) – Iranian authorities have confirmed after initially denying that the Ukrainian plane, which killed 176 people shortly after departing from Tehran this Wednesday, was shot down for human error because it was thought of as an “enemy target”.
Flight 752 of the Ukrainian International Airlines has come close to being targeted by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, a Iranian-backed Iranian foreign-led structure headed by Kassem Solemimani, killed in a US coup. Almost at the same time that the plane crashed, there were Iranian missile strikes against bases in Iraq, where US troops launched in response to the Solimani assassination were deployed.
A statement by the military, read on state television, links the incident to heightened tensions between the US and Iran, reaching a new high point after the assassination of Soleimani. For this reason, the Iranian army was “in the highest level of readiness”, and therefore it came to strike against the flight, “because of human error and inadvertence”.
The confirmation came after Western services and leaders from Canada and NATO said they believed, based on available evidence, that the plane had been hit by a rocket. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also made that assumption.
Read more: Ukrainian plane likely downed by missile
Even after Iranian recognition, questions remain – such as why the authorities did not ban flights during a military operation.
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