Chilling new video appears to show the moment an Iranian missile hit a Ukrainian passenger plane just before it crashed, killing all 176 people on board.
The footage emerged Thursday afternoon, hours after President Donald Trump revealed he has serious doubts the crash was caused by mechanical failure, as Iranian officials have claimed.
‘It was flying in a pretty rough neighborhood. Somebody could have made a mistake,’ Trump told reporters at the White House on Thursday. ‘I have a feeling that something very terrible happened, very devastating.’
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau later echoed Trump’s concerns, saying that evidence indicates an Iranian missile downed the and that the strike ‘may have been unintentional’.
Trudeau said Canadian and allied intelligence supports that conclusion. He declined to get into the specific intelligence, but said it appeared it was a surface-to-air missile that struck the plane.
‘The intelligence evidence suggests very clearly a possible and probable cause for the crash,’ Trudeau told a news conference.
Soon after Trudeau and Trump spoke out, Iran issued a statement denying that the airliner was struck by a missile.
‘All these reports are a psychological warfare against Iran,’ Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei said, according to state TV. ‘All those countries whose citizens were aboard the plane can send representatives and we urge Boeing to send its representative to join the process of investigating the black box.’
However, US intelligence officials are ‘confident’ that Iran shot down the Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 by mistake, one official told the New York Times. The official said two missiles had been fired from an Iranian air defense system, the SA-15, shortly before an explosion came from the jet.
Two Pentagon officials added that the missiles were likely launched in error by Iranian anti-aircraft crews awaiting a US response to Iran’s rocket strikes against American bases in Iraq hours earlier, according to Newsweek.
The plane, a Boeing 737-800 en route from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport to Kyiv’s Boryspil International Airport, encountered a problem moments after takeoff in the early hours of Wednesday.
The latest video appears to show a missile hitting the plane as it flew over Parand, the area where it stopped transmitting its signal before the crash.
A small explosion occurred when the missile struck but the plane did not explode. It continued flying for several minutes and turned back toward the airport while engulfed in flames before it exploded and crashed quickly.
If Iran is responsible for the incident, it would be hugely embarrassing for the nation which had sought to avoid killing anybody in Wednesday’s strikes. Eighty-two of the plane’s passengers were Iranians.
It could also spark fresh tensions in the Middle East just a day after Trump said Iran seemed to be ‘standing down’., as the plane was also carrying 63 Canadians, three Britons, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans and three Germans.
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Source: Daily Mail