U.S. officials are “confident” Iran shot down a Ukrainian passenger airliner killing 176 people, including at least 63 Canadians. The plane was shot down hours after Iran shot missiles at Iraqi airbases housing American troops. Iran launched the initial missiles in retaliation for the U.S. killing of terrorist military leader Qasem Soleimani.
According to Newsweek, the plane is believed to have been hit by a Russia-built Tor-M1 surface-to-air missile system. The plane was shot down only minutes into its initial ascent.
Both the Ukrainian and Iranian embassies blamed mechanical failure, however, the Ukrainian embassy deleted its statement.
“This information is based on U.S. intelligence,” said CBS News anchor Major Garrett, “which sources say picked up signals of a radar being turned on. U.S. satellites also detected two missile launches which happened shortly before the plane exploded.”
NEW: "CBS News has learned U.S. officials are confident that Iran shot down a Ukrainian jetliner in the hours after the Iranian missile attack on U.S. targets. 176 people were killed, including at least 63 Canadians." https://t.co/BLBUKzzbO6 pic.twitter.com/EHENM9HgqM
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) January 9, 2020
According to Newsweek, a Pentagon official and another U.S. senior intelligence official said the incident was accidental. The Pentagon believes Iran’s anti-aircraft systems were likely still active after the country’s missile attack against Iraq and United States troops.
This is a developing story.