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Trump: Iran May Have Mistakenly Shot Down Jet

'I have my suspicions,' he says
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2020 12:13 PM CST
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Rescue workers carry the body of a victim of a Ukrainian plane crash in Shahedshahr, southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020.   (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

(Newser) – Ukraine has its doubts about Iran's explanation that a mechanical failure brought down a Ukrainian passenger jet near Tehran this week. Now, the US does, too. The AP quotes two anonymous US officials who say it is "highly likely" that an Iranian anti-aircraft missile downed the Boeing 737 with more than 170 people aboard. President Trump also laid the blame on Iran, though he suggested it might not have been deliberate. “Somebody could have made a mistake," said Trump, noting the plane was flying in a “pretty rough neighborhood." All those aboard were killed. "I have my suspicions," the president added, per the Washington Post. "Some people say it was mechanical. Personally, I don't think that's even a question.”

Specifically, the US thinks a Russian-made SA-15 surface-to-air missile brought down the plane, reports the Washington Post. European officials also have come to believe that Iran shot down the plane mistakenly, according to the newspaper. The jet crashed just hours after Iran fired missiles into Iraq at US targets in retaliation for the killing of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani. It's not clear whether that earlier incident might have been a factor in the apparent shooting down of the jet. Meanwhile, dozens of Ukrainian search-and-rescue officials have arrived in Iran to participate in the investigation. (Read more plane crash stories.)

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