Iran says its military 'unintentionally' shot down Ukrainian airliner

Iran's Foreign Minister offered condolences.

Sulaiman Daud | January 11, 2020, 02:50 PM

The Iranian government has stated that the Ukrainian International Airlines plane that crashed soon after take-off was shot down "unintentionally" by the Iranian military.

On Jan. 11, the BBC quoted Iranian state TV saying that the plane, which took off from Imam Khomeini Airport, flew too close to a sensitive site belonging to Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

It was then shot down as a result of "human error".

Technical errors stated at first

Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752, carrying 180 passengers and crew, was shot down on Jan. 8.

Initially, CNN quoted Iranian state media who said that the plane crash was a result of "technical errors".

CNN later reported that according to U.S. intelligence sources, who picked up signs of the launch of surface-to-air missiles shortly before the crash, it was possible that the plane could have been shot down.

Iran initially questioned this theory, but on Jan. 11, Iran Foreign Minister offered "profound regrets, apologies and condolences" to those affected by the crash.

Not the first plane lost

The shooting down of Flight 752 is not the first time that a civilian plane has been lost as a result of U.S.-Iranian tensions.

Back in 1988, Iran Air Flight 655, carrying 290 people, was shot down by a U.S. Navy ship as it flew over the Persian Gulf.

The U.S. military later called it a "tragic and regrettable accident."

In 1996, the U.S. agreed to pay compensation of tens of millions of dollars to the families of the victims after Iran sued the U.S. government in the International Court of Justice in 1989.

SIA flights diverted

Singapore Airlines previously announced on Jan. 8 that it would divert all its flights away from Iranian airspace.

This came after news reports that Iran launched missiles at an Iraqi base that housed U.S. troops.

The missiles were in response to the U.S. assassinating top Iranian military commander Qassim Soleimani with a drone strike on Jan. 3.

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Top image from AFP.