The crash of Ukranian International Airlines Flight 752, which claimed the lives of 176 people – including 62 Canadians, many of them with connections to Halifax – was likely caused by an Iranian surface-to-air missile:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says intelligence now indicates the Ukrainian passenger aircraft that crashed outside of Tehran on Wednesday, killing everyone on board — including 138 people destined for Canada — was shot down by an Iranian missile.
“We have intelligence from multiple sources, including our allies and our own intelligence. The evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile,” he said during a news conference in Ottawa, adding that it might have been an unintentional act.
The crash happened just hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on Iraqi bases housing U.S. soldiers, in response to U.S. President Trump’s decision to order the targeted killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani
When asked if the U.S. air strike was in part to blame for the crash, Trudeau said only that Canada needs a thorough investigation.
I’m not normally inclined to give the Iranian government any benefit of the doubt, but I really don’t think they intended to destroy this civilian plane. At a time when they’re on the verge of war with the United States, this is the last thing they needed. Plus, 82 Iranians were among the victims.
When the U.S. Navy shot down Iran Air Flight 655 in 1988, it was because they mistook the plane for a fighter jet. The downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine was likely carried out by Russian-backed separatists who thought they were firing on military aircraft. The most likely explanation is that the same kind of terrible, negligent mistake happened here.
As for President Trump, I guess you can say he bears some responsibility for this, in the same way President Johnson bears some responsibility for Forrest Gump’s friend Jenny getting abused by her boyfriend. The word “crossfire” is being thrown around, but at the time this happened only one side was actually doing any shooting.
The orange one himself is much less bellicose than you might expect:
Trump declined to share his theories around why the plane crashed but said he thought “something very terrible happened. Very devastating.”
“Well, I have my suspicions. It was very – I don’t want to say that…because other people have those suspicions also.”
He also said someone “on other side” could have “made a mistake.”
Trump is being roasted online for his cavalier remarks about the plane ” flying in a pretty rough neighborhood.” Maybe not the most sensitive way to put it, but my goodness, could you realistically expect anything better?