Iran probing possible U.S. disruption in radar system that caused the downing of Ukrainian plane: military 

January 15, 2020 - 21:30

TEHRAN – A possible disruption in Iran’s radar network by the U.S. may have caused the operator mistake the Ukrainian passenger plan for an  incoming American cruise missile, at top Iranian military official said late on Tuesday.

Ali Abdollahi, the deputy commander of the Armed Forces General Headquarters for coordination affairs, said “the U.S. mischiefs in the region have been proven before, and so far Iran’s cyber systems have observed and recorded virtual objects manufactured by the U.S. in the country’s airspace”
“Disruption in performance of radar systems by the United States is not unprecedented,” the military official told national TV. 

Abdollahi said a team has been established to investigate such a possibility.

The passenger plane was shot down on the morning of January 8, nearly four hours after Iran fired dozens of missiles at a U.S. airbase in Iraq in retaliation to the assassination of Iran’s top general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on January 3.

The Iranian military announced on Saturday morning that the plane had been mistaken for a cruise missile.

Abdollahi said there had been a report about a U.S. cruise missile attack in the wake of Iran's missile launches. He said the operator who fired missile at the plane had difficulty in receiving the message of the command center.

There was a widespread criticism for the late announcement that the plane had been downed unintentionally by Iran.
However, Abdollahi said, the investigation that led to the announcement was conducted in the least possible time.

“The commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Aerospace Force was on a mission in the west of the country and after an hour, he was informed (about it) and reported this to his superior,” he said, according to Tasnim.

“(Anyone at) every level who reports (something) should make sure about (the accuracy of) the report,” he said, adding, “Naturally, the initial examination takes time.”

The scope of mission of the involved individuals was extensive and it was necessary to speak to all of them so the process lasted about 38 hours, he told IRNA.


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