PS752: Iran shot down plane – intelligence sources
There are new developments in the cause of the crash we reported 2 days ago.
Announced by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Intelligence services are reporting to ‘five eyes’ countries that the Ukranian International Airlines 737-800, flight PS752 from Tehran to Kyiv was shot down with a Russian made missile by the Iranian military.
It is being interpreted as an accident, given the high alert, Iranian military was under, as they were expecting retaliatory attacks from the USA.
The downing of the flight roughly eight minutes after takeoff occurred the day after Iran had ordered missile attacks on Iraq military bases housing USA troops as a retaliation to the assassination by USA drone of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani.
176 passengers and crew died in the crash made up of 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedish nationals, 4 Afghans, 3 Germans and 3 Britons.
Who has said what
- The Ukranian authorities said they thought it was a mechanical failure immediately after the attack, and then backtracked
- Iranian officials say they won’t send black boxes to Boeing
- Justin Trudeau has accused Iran of shooting down the plane with a surface-to-air missile, possibly accidentally, and he wants answers from Tehran
- Scott Morrison, apparently relying on the same intelligence has said that “This is not a deliberate attack – it’s a terrible accident”.
- US President Trump has said that he felt “something terrible” had happened and that “somebody could have made a mistake” – in his usual eloquent way
- Iran denies that it shot down the plane, and blames a ‘mechanical fault’ for the catastrophic engine explosion
- Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister has said that the ‘body of evidence’ indicates the plane was destroyed by a missile – he is presumably relying on the same ‘five eyes’ intelligence that the USA, Canada and Australia are.
What we know
Air Crash investigations take a long time, and need to be detailed, and are best when they rely on recovered ‘black box’ information, a preserved crime scene, and the co-operation of all authorities involved, including governments representing all casualties, airline regulatory authorities, and the aircraft manufacturer.
We already know that Iran is refusing to send the recovered black boxes to Boeing, and it is being reported that Iranian authorities are already tampering with the crash scene. Of course, this investigation will be hampered by not only these actions but also the political tensions and wish to preserve reputations of the countries involved, particularly the USA, Ukraine and of course Iran.
We know that the plane was acting normally until it disappeared suddenly from radar. We know that the pilots made no ‘mayday’ call. We know that Iran is refusing to hand over the black boxes.
These are consistent with a missile strike. If a mechanical failure was the cause, we would expect that there would have been some flight irregularity, that the pilots would have made a ‘mayday’ call, and that Iran would have fewer difficulties in handing over the black boxes.
A lot of commentators on blogger reports are trying to allocate ‘blame’. Is it Trump’s fault because he ordered the assassination? Is it Iran’s fault because they launched the missile? Is it Obama’s fault, because he refused to OK the assassination? Or is it Bush I or Bush II’s fault because they got us into wars with Middle East states?
Let’s leave ‘blame’ alone. Surely we need to honour the 176 victims first by finding out what was the cause?
Blame can wait.