Iran says it 'unintentionally' shot down Ukrainian jetliner

WASHINGTON (AP) and TEHRAN, Iran (AP) Update, Friday night, Jan. 10, 2020

Iranian state TV, citing a military statement, says the country ‘unintentionally’ shot down a Ukrainian jetliner, killing all 176 aboard. The statement came Saturday morning. It blames “human error” for the shootdown.

The jetliner, a Boeing 737 operated by Ukrainian International Airlines, went down on the outskirts of Tehran during takeoff just hours after Iran launched a barrage of missiles at U.S. forces in retaliation for the killing of its top general. Iran had denied for several days that a missile downed the aircraft. But then the U.S. and Canada, citing intelligence, said they believe Iran shot down the aircraft.

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The U.S. is promising to take “appropriate action” in response to its assessment that an Iranian missile was responsible for downing a Ukrainian jetliner that crashed outside Tehran. Iran denies that one of its missiles hit a Ukrainian airplane that crashed near Tehran this week, killing all 176 aboard.

Western leaders say the plane appeared to have been unintentionally hit by an Iranian surface-to-air missile. The crash came after Iran launched ballistic missiles on two American bases in Iraq in retaliation for the U.S. killing of its top general in a drone strike. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday the U.S. believes the plane was likely shot down by an Iranian missile.

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