Tehran (QNN)- Iran announced Saturday that its military “unintentionally” shot down a Ukrainian jetliner, killing all 176 on board.
In a statement, the nation’s armed forces said it targeted the passenger plane unintentionally. It attributed the crash to a “human error”, adding that the military mistook Flight 752 for a “hostile target”.
Press TV also quoted Iran’s General Staff of the Armed Forces as saying that the plane had flown close to a “sensitive military site”.
The military said it was at its “highest level of readiness” amid the heightened tensions with the United States.
“In such a condition, because of human error and in a unintentional way, the flight was hit,” the military said. It apologised and said it would upgrade its systems to prevent future tragedies.
In a statement by President Hassan Rouhani, he wrote that Iran “deeply regrets this disastrous mistake”.
“My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families. I offer my sincerest condolences,” he said, adding that “investigations continue to identify and prosecute this great tragedy and unforgivable mistake”.
Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752 crashed Wednesday after takeoff from Tehran’s airport. The crash came hours after Iran fired missiles at Iraqi military bases housing US troops in retaliation for a drone strike at Baghdad airport that killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani.
Iran had denied for several days that a missile downed the aircraft. But then the US and Canada, citing intelligence, said they believe Iran shot down the aircraft.