Under pressure, Iran admits it shot down jetliner by mistake

FILE PHOTO: Debris of a plane belonging to Ukraine International Airlines, that crashed after taking off from Iran's Imam Khomeini airport, is seen on the outskirts of Tehran, Iran January 8, 2020. Nazanin Tabatabaee/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s Revolutionary Guard says it accidentally shot down the Ukrainian jetliner that crashed earlier this week, killing all 176 aboard.

The government had repeatedly denied Western accusations that it was responsible for the crash. The plane was hit hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on two military bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of its top general. The acknowledgement is an embarrassment for the armed forces and was likely to anger the Iranian public. A senior Guard commander accepted “full responsibility” and said that when he learned of the shootdown he wished he was dead.

He said the plane was mistaken for an incoming U.S. cruise missile.

Categories: National News