Ukrainian civil airliner downed due to human error: Armed Forces statement

January 11, 2020 - 8:20

TEHRAN – Iran’s Armed Forces issued a statement on Saturday announcing that the Ukrainian passenger plane was shot down near the Imam Khomeini Airport due to a “human error”.

“The Ukrainian passenger plane was hit unintentionally and due to human error which unfortunately led to martyrdom of a number of our people and also a number of foreign nationals,” the statement read.

Following is full text of the statement:

1. Following threats made by the U.S. President [Donald Trump] and military commanders of attacking targets on the soil of the Islamic Republic of Iran in case of Iran’s retaliatory operation [to the assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani], and due to unprecedented increase in movements in the region’s airspace, the Iranian Armed Forces were at the utmost level of readiness and alert.

2. Hours after the missile strike [by the IRGC against the U.S. base in Iraq], aircraft flights by U.S. terrorist forces increased near the Iranian borders and also some reports of air threats against the country’s strategic centers were delivered to defense units and some targets were seen on radars which caused increased sensitivity in air defenses.

3. In such sensitive and critical situation, flight No. 752 of Ukraine International Airlines departed from the Imam Khomeini Airport and while changing direction, it completely resembled a hostile target approaching a sensitive military center of the IRGC. In these circumstances, due to human error and unintentionally, the plane was targeted which unfortunately led to the martyrdom of a number of our dear compatriots and also a number of foreign nationals.

4. The Armed Forces offer condolences to the families of the victims and apologize for the human error. The Iranian Armed Forces Staff assures the people that it will make re-occurrence of such incidents impossible through conducting fundamental modifications in operations’ processes of the Armed Forces and it will also hand over the culprit to the military court. 

5. It was also announced to relevant officials in the Guards to provide the people with a detailed explanation.


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