Iran says missile shot down Ukraine plane, validating US, Canada intel

Iranian leaders said late Friday that their country’s missiles unintentionally shot down a Ukrainian jet that crashed after taking off from Tehran this week after the U.S. and Canadian officials said intelligence showed that the Iranian military gunned down the plane.

A military statement carried by Iranian state media Saturday morning local time said the plane was mistaken for a “hostile target” after it turned toward a “sensitive military center” of the Revolutionary Guard. The military was at its “highest level of readiness,” it said, amid the heightened tensions with the United States.

All 176 people aboard Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 on a Boeing 737 were killed in the crash early Wednesday, just after Iran fired ballistic missiles on Iraqi bases housing U.S. soldiers in retaliation for the U.S.’ drone strike killing one of its top military leaders, Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

Among the dead on the flight were 63 Canadians, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday a missile was the cause of the plane crash.

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