U.S. officials confident Iran shot down passenger jet

The Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran’s international airport Wednesday was shot down by mistake by an Iranian anti-aircraft missile, Pentagon officials told Fox News.

Officials said U.S. intelligence increasingly points at the airliner being accidentally struck by a Russian-made missile, killing all 176 people on board the flight, just hours after Iran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles targeting two military bases housing American and coalition troops.

The revelations come as Ukrainian investigators reportedly are awaiting permission from Iranian authorities to examine the crash site and look for missile fragments. Iran’s head of civil aviation was quoted by the ISNA News Agency as saying Thursday that it was “impossible that a missile hit the Ukrainian plane” bound for Kiev, according to Reuters, and its officials have blamed a technical malfunction for the aircraft’s doom.

“A strike by a missile, possibly a Tor missile system, is among the main (theories), as information has surfaced on the internet about elements of a missile being found near the site of the crash,” Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s Security Council, told Ukrainian media. He did not elaborate on where he saw the information.

When asked Thursday about what could have happened to the Ukrainian International Airlines flight, President Trump said he didn’t believe that a mechanical failure caused the plane crash.

“It was flying in a pretty rough neighborhood,” he said. “Somebody could have made a mistake on the other side.”

The Tor is a Russian-made missile system. Russia delivered 29 Tor-M1s to Iran in 2007 as part of a $700 million contract signed in December 2005. Iran has displayed the missiles in military parades as well…

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