Iran admits its military shot down Ukrainian Boeing unintentionally

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Iran announced Saturday that its military ‘unintentionally’ shot down a Ukrainian jetliner, killing all 176 aboard.

The statement came Saturday morning and blamed ‘human error” for the shootdown.

An Iranian military statement, announcing that a missile had struck the plane and expressing condolences to the victims, said the plane had flown close to a sensitive military site belonging to the elite Revolutionary Guards.

It said responsible parties would be referred to a judicial department within the military and held accountable.

Mobile phone footage posted and circulated by ordinary Iranians on Twitter after the crash has indicated that it came down in a ball of flames.

On Twitter, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the armed forces investigation showed the downing of the Boeing 737-800 was the result of “human error at time of crisis caused by U.S. adventurism (that) led to disaster.”

The statement said :

Hours after Iran’s missile strike, the warplanes belonging to the terrorist American forces increased flights in the airspace surrounding Iran with reports keeping to come about some flying targets which were moving towards Iran’s defense targets. Also, numerous cases were observed on radar screens which demanded further alertness on the part of the Iranian airforce defense units.

In such a sensitive and critical situation, flight 752 of Ukraine Airlines which had taken off from Imam Khomeini International Airport, moved very close to a sensitive military spot belonging to the IRGC forces when completing a loop. The altitude and the direction of the flight’s movement were like an enemy target, so the aircraft was targeted unintentionally due to human error which unfortunately caused the martyrdom of a number of Iranian national together with a number of foreigners.

The General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces hereby extends its condolences to the bereaved families of the victims of the incident as well as those foreign nationals aboard the flight. It also offers its apology for the human error which caused the crash. 

The statement further assured that the repetition of such errors will be impossible as the body will follow fundamental reforms in the process of operations and will refer those who are guilty about the event to the Judiciary.

Via Euronews/ France24 / IRNA

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