On Wednesday, it was announced that a Ukrainian passenger jet near Tehran crashed, killing all 176 aboard. Now it is with “high confidence” that U.S. officials believe that the aircraft was shot down by an Iranian missile.
According to an official who spoke anonymously with the Washington Post, U.S. authorities believe that an Iranian anti-aircraft SA-15 surface-to-air missile hit the plane, which was carrying some 82 Iranians.
No further details were provided surrounding the possible attack, which came just four hours after “Iran launched ballistic missiles into Iraq against U.S. targets in retaliation for the killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani,” the Post reports.
President Trump continued his jellyfish-spine stance since Iran’s attack, claiming that the passenger jet could’ve been hit by “mistake.”
“Well, I have my suspicions. I don’t want to say that, because other people have those suspicions also…Somebody could’ve made a mistake on the other side,” Trump said about the Ukrainian plane, the Post reports. “Some people say it was mechanical. Personally, I don’t think that’s even a question,” Trump told reporters.
From the Post:
Earlier, Ukrainian investigators said they were considering the possibility that an anti-aircraft missile brought down a Kyiv-bound passenger jet, as an initial report Iran said the plane was on fire while still in the air and was turning back toward Tehran’s airport because of a “problem” when it went down.
Ukrainian investigators said they were also looking into engine failure or a terrorist attack as possible causes of the crash. Several independent aviation experts have noted that, based on video and the wide debris field, it appeared that the Boeing 737 800 was breaking apart in the air.
A team of 45 experts and search-and-rescue personnel from Ukraine arrived in Tehran early Thursday to participate in the probe, as well as to identify and repatriate the bodies of the 11 Ukrainians on board, including all nine crew members.
While no one knows exactly what happened I can surmise that the speculation as to whether or not Iran shot down a Ukrainian plane wouldn’t be happening if Trump didn’t decide on a random Thursday to up and kill Soleimani. That, I know for sure.