‘Highly likely’ Iran downed Ukrainian plane, say US officials


It is “highly likely” that an Iranian anti-aircraft missile downed a Ukrainian jetliner, killing all 176 people on board, two US officials said.

The crash late on Tuesday came just a few hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack against Iraqi military bases housing US troops.

The missile attack came amid a confrontation with Washington over the US drone strike that killed an Iranian general last week.

President Donald Trump suggested he believes Iran was responsible and would not directly lay the blame on Iran, but dismissed their claims that it was a mechanical issue – and denied any US responsibility.

President Trump said Gen Soleimani’s hands were “drenched in both American and Iranian blood”

“Somebody could have made a mistake on the other side,” Mr Trump said, noting the plane was flying in a “pretty rough neighbourhood”.

“Some people say it was mechanical,” Mr Trump added.

“I personally don’t think that’s even a question.”‘

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