Iran’s civil aviation body has released its final report regarding the tragic incident that saw 176 fatalities on a Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) Boeing 737 after it left Tehran on January 8th, 2020. The report blames an error by an air defense operator for the shooting-down of the aircraft.
A series of escalations
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s air defenses shot at the passenger plane soon after it left Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport. This event happened the same day that the guard had also launched a missile campaign on two United States bases in neighboring Iraq. This move followed on from the US’ targeted airstrike on Iranian major general Qasem Soleimani’s convoy near Baghdad Airport.
The report, which has been shared by The Aviation Herald today, notes that following the threats of the US president and the military commanders to target areas in Iran and in a view of a counter-operation and unprecedented increase in air traffic in the region, the country’s forces were at high alert. The report claims that following the missile strikes, US warplanes around the nation increased. It also adds that there were further reports of airstrikes targeting strategic centers in the country, which heightened sensitivity.
These alleged factors subsequently led up to the moments before the shooting. It was already shared that the armed forces misidentified the plane. Iranian officials shared that the aircraft had the flying posture and altitude of an enemy target.
What the report states
The Iranian aviation body further states that two missiles were fired at the plane. It concludes that flight’s operation did not have a role in creating the error “by the air defence battery.”
“In such critical and critical conditions, the flight of the Ukrainian Airlines departs from Imam Khomeini Airport and, while in rotation, is in close proximity to a sensitive military center of the IRGC and is in the height and shape of a hostile aircraft.
“In these circumstances, the plane was accidentally hit by human error, which unfortunately results in the martyrdom of dear compatriots and the death of a number of foreign nationals,” the final reports states, as shared by The Aviation Herald.
“The General Staff of the Armed Forces, while expressing condolences and condolences to the grieving families of foreign nationals and apologizing for the human error, giving full assurance that the pursuit of fundamental reforms in the operational processes at the Armed Forces can be repeated. Make such errors impossible and immediately bring it to the attention of the Armed Forces Judicial Organization to deal with any legal errors”
According to Reuters, Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, criticized the report. The politician feels that it is an attempt to “cover up the true reasons for the crash.” He claims that the investigation did not follow international procedures, ignored evidence supplied by Ukraine, and came to selective conclusions. Nonetheless, Ukrainian prosecutors have launched their own investigation.
Altogether, something like this must never occur again, regardless of what the reason was. It’s now been over a year since the shooting happened. The loved ones of those on the flight will undoubtedly still be grieving.
Simple Flying reached out to UIA for comment on the report. We will update the article with any further announcements from the airline.
What are your thoughts about the report released by Iran’s civil aviation body? What do you make of the overall findings? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.