176 Killed After Iran Erroneously Shoots Down Ukrainian Passenger Jet

Soon after retaliatory strikes were launched by Iran against U.S. bases in Iraq, a Ukrainian jetliner carrying 176 passengers and crew crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran. The flight was bound for Ukraine’s capital of Kiev. Iranian officials claimed they suspected a technical issue with the Boeing 737-800 was the cause of the crash. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Iran refused, however, to hand over the plane’s black boxes, saying it had not decided which country or international authority to send the black box to have its data to be analyzed. Three Britons, three Germans, 63 Canadians, 10 Swedes, 11 Ukrainians, 82 Iranians and four Afghans were killed in the crash. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

A Southern California doctoral student and her mother and sister were reportedly among those killed when a passenger jet was shot down. They were reportedly visiting relatives in Iran. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration banned U.S. carriers from operating in airspace over Iraq, Iran, and the Gulf of Oman, and the waters between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Reported by The Guardian. Read more…

More Reported by Fox News. Read more…

The truth about the crash soon began to emerge as Pentagon officials told Fox news the plane was shot down by mistake by an Iranian anti-aircraft missile. “An absolute tragedy,” one official told Fox News. “They just screwed up and it is tragic.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

More Reported by i24 News. Read more…

Despite U.S. revelations, Iran continued to deny the plane was brought down by an accidental missile strike. Ali Abedzadeh, head of Iran’s national aviation department, said that “What is obvious for us, and what we can say with certainty, is that no missile hit the plane.” He also challenged the U.S. and Canada (which also said the plane was brought down by an Iranian missile) “should come and show their findings to the world.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Although Iran invited the Ukraine, France, and Boeing to join in the investigation into the crash, it continued its heated rhetoric toward the United States. Ali Rabiei, a spokesperson for the Rouhani administration, said that “We advise the U.S. government to wait for the results of the accident investigation committee of the Ukrainian plane crash instead of spreading lie and carrying out their psychological operation … It’s unfortunate that the U.S. government and its conscious or unaware companions add salt to the injury of families of the victims in the Iran plane crash by spreading lies and are ready to sacrifice the families of the victims to serve their own goals.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Iran’s claims of non-involvement were undercut by a video released by the New York Times. The video, shot by an unidentified Iranian citizen, shows the plane being struck by what appears to be a surface-to-air missile. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

Iranian authorities arrested the person who recorded the video. A London-based journalist, however, who posted the individual’s video, says Iran has arrested the wrong person. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

A second video caught by a security camera shows that two missiles struck the plane. The first missile did not down the aircraft. The plane turned and was attempting to return to the airport when the second missile hit it, causing it to explode. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

As evidence mounted, Iran finally admitted it had accidentally shot the plane down. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard aerospace division, told Iranian television that his unit accepted “full responsibility” for shooting down the plane. He said that when he learned what happened, “I wished I was dead.” Predictably, Iran’s foreign minister blamed the U.S. “A sad day,” Javad Zarif tweeted, “Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster. Our profound regrets, apologies and condolences to our people, to the families of all victims, and to other affected nations.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Iran later announced that it had arrested those responsible for accidentally shooting down the plane. Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said that anyone involved in the “painful and unforgivable” mishap “should be punished.” Rouhani said that “The judiciary should form a special court with a ranking judge and dozens of experts” He also stated that “This is not an ordinary case. The entire world will be watching this court.” He also admitted that responsibility “falls on more than just one person.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Protesters throughout Iran flocked to the streets on the Saturday following the downing of the jetliner, calling for regime change. Iranians expressing anger towards the government after Tehran admitted to accidentally shooting down the airliner and killing 176 passengers and crew. As many as a thousand protesters tore up pictures of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in the streets of Tehran, while others chanted, “They are lying that our enemy is America, our enemy is right here.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

The following Tuesday, Iranian authorities arrested over thirty protesters at Tehran University. Reported by i24 News. Read more…

Meanwhile, Iranian journalists at Iranian state-owned media outlets have resigned in the wake of the crash, with one apologizing for “the 13 years I told you lies.” TV anchor Gelare Jabbari spoke to her viewers through Instagram, saying, “It was very hard for me to believe that our people have been killed. Forgive me that I got to know this late. And forgive me for the 13 years I told you lies.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Trump issued a stark warning to Iran. Trump tweeted, “To the leaders of Iran – DO NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTERS … Thousands have already been killed or imprisoned by you, and the World is watching. More importantly, the USA is watching.” Trump added, “Turn your internet back on and let reporters roam free! Stop the killing of your great Iranian people!” Protesters have even demanded the resignation of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Reported by Fox News.Read more…

Some Democrats also appeared to lay blame for the plane’s crash at the feet of Donald Trump. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., said, “If what is being projected is true, this is yet another example of collateral damage from the actions that have been taken in a provocative way by the president of the United States.” Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg was more direct, tweeting, “Innocent civilians are now dead because they were caught in the middle of an unnecessary and unwanted military tit for tat.” Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, also a presidential candidate, said, “I think this is a very, very unfortunate incident that has affected so many people and so many families, and this is one of these consequences of this escalation and this state of war that we are in.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Even Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the tragic downing of the jetliner was due to increased tensions between the U.S. and Iran. “I think if there were no tensions, if there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians would be right now home with their families,” Trudeau said in an interview. Reported by i24 News. Read more…