Ukrainian Plane Brought down by Iran's short-range missile due to communications "jamming"

IRGC accepts 'responsibility' for Ukrainian plane crash, airline demands full investigation

Ukrainian Plane that crashed near Tehran was brought down by Iran's short-range missile due to communications jamming when it flew close to a sensitive military site of the elite Revolutionary Guards. the military statement confirmed on Saturday.

All 176 passengers aboard the plane who are mostly Iranians and Canadians died in the crash. Iranian forces showdown of missile strikes against the US military bases in Iraq as a result of the assassination of IRGC Commander Quseem Soleimani and expected retaliatory strikes from US might cumulated in the unprofessional downing of the Ukrainian plane. 

Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has accepted full responsibility for the downing of a Ukrainian airplane, a senior commander of the guards said in a video posted online by state TV on Saturday, saying that he wished he "could die and not witness such an accident."

"We accept full responsibility for this act (shooting down the plane), and we will obey and carry out what decisions the authorities will make… I wish I could die and not witness such an accident," aerospace division head Amir Ali Hajizadeh said.

Hajizadeh said in the video that the aircraft was misidentified as a cruise missile by an air defense operator and was brought down by a short-range missile.

According to Hajizadeh, the operator opened fire independently because of communications "jamming." "He only had ten seconds to decide whether or not to open fire," he detailed.

A military statement said the plane flew close to a sensitive military site of the elite Revolutionary Guards. At the time, planes had been spotted on radar near strategic sites leading to the "further alertness" of air defenses.

The missile exploded next to the plane before it went down.

Hajizadeh added the move was made in a time when Tehran was ready for an all-out war with the U.S.

Earlier on Saturday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the top authority in the Persian capital, Tehran, was informed about the unintentional shooting down of the Ukrainian airliner on Friday and said information should be publicly announced after a meeting of Iran’s top security body, the semi-official Fars news agency said in a tweet.

No previous warning

Responding to Iran's announcement on Saturday, Ukraine demanded an official apology and compensation.

Vice President of Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) Igor Sosnovskiy said in a press briefing late Saturday that the company received no information about a possible threat from Iran, stressing that Tehran must take "full responsibility" for the incident.

The flights were operated on the basis of two countries' permission, said Sosnovskiy, reiterating the company was not aware of any potential threats.

"Tehran should have closed the airport," said the vice president.

Sosnovskiy expressed support for the remarks made by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, expecting full inquiry and investigation to be pursued by Iran "without deliberate delay and obstruction."

(With input from Reuters and CTGN)

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