Iran admits downing Ukranian aircraft, but calls it an accident
Iran says their military made a mistake in shooting a missile at a civilian airplane, killing everyone onboard.
TEHRAN, IRAN — Iran has admitted to accidently shooting down a Ukranian airplane on January 8, killing all 176 passengers and crew members onboard.
According to the Guardian, Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 took off from Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport at 6:12 a.m., and reached roughly 8,000 feet in altitude before the plane exploded and came crashing down at 6:18 a.m. The flight was en route to Kiev, Ukraine.
Iran had previously denied shooting down the plane for three days, before issuing a statement on Iranian state TV in which the country took responsibility for the incident, reports BBC News. The country said the plane was hit due to "human error" and said the flight was hit by a missile unintentionally.
An Iranian Revolutionary Guard airspace commander said that the plane was downed by a short-range missile that exploded beside the aircraft, though he did not specify which missile system was used during the incident.
Images shared on social media appears to show the remains of a missile believed to be from Iran's Tor-M1 system near the site of the plane crash.
Iran said its military was at its "highest level of readiness" due to heightened tensions with the U.S.The incident occurred just hours after Iran carried out missile strikes on two Iraqi air bases housing U.S. soldiers.
Iran's military apologized and said that they would work to upgrade their systems to prevent these types of mistakes in the future.
Iranian citizens have since taken to the streets condemning their government and even chanting for their Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei to step down in the aftermath of the downing of the Ukranian jet, CNN reports. Demonstrators say they want those responsible for the mishap to be prosecuted.
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