News and Commentary

Video Appears To Show Missile Hitting Passenger Plane In Iran
Zolfaghar missiles (R) are displayed during a rally marking al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day in Tehran on June 23, 2017. Chants against the Saudi royal family and the Islamic State group mingled with the traditional cries of "Death to Israel" and "Death to America" at Jerusalem Day rallies across Iran today.
STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images

Video obtained and verified by The New York Times on Thursday appears to show an Iranian missile hitting a plane near Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran, the same area where a Ukrainian passenger plane went down earlier this week.

“A small explosion occurred when a missile hit the plane, but the plane did not explode,” The New York Times reported. “The jet continued flying for several minutes and turned back toward the airport, The Times has determined. The plane flew toward the airport ablaze before it exploded and crashed quickly, other videos verified by The Times showed.”

All 176 people on board the plane were killed in the crash.


The development comes after a Ukrainian passenger plane, which presumably is the plane shown in The Times video, crashed over Tehran on Tuesday night after Iran fired numerous missiles at U.S. forces in Iraq.

BBC reporter Ali Hashem tweeted out a video that he claimed showed the Ukrainian passenger plane crashing.


Newsweek reported on Thursday that two top U.S. officials confirmed that Iran shot down the plane.

“One Pentagon and one U.S. senior intelligence official told Newsweek that the Pentagon’s assessment is that the incident was accidental,” Newsweek reported. “Iran’s anti-aircraft systems were likely active following the country’s missile attack, which came in response to the U.S. killing last week of Revolutionary Guard Quds Force commander Major General Qassem Soleimani, sources said.”

“The U.S. official told Fox News that a Russian-made SA15 missile, which is part of the Tor surface-to-air missile system, was the kind that brought down the aircraft,” Fox News reported. “Russia delivered 29 Tor-M1 systems 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.”

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a statement on Tuesday night informing U.S. civil aviation operators that they were prohibited from flying over Iran due to Iran’s military actions earlier in the night.

“The Federal Aviation Administration issued Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS) tonight outlining flight restrictions that prohibit U.S. civil aviation operators from operating in the airspace over Iraq, Iran, and the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman,” the statement said. “The FAA will continue closely monitoring events in the Middle East. We continue coordinating with our national security partners and sharing information with U.S. air carriers and foreign civil aviation authorities.”

The FAA confirmed to the Free Beacon on Thursday that their statement was made “roughly three hours before the accident.”

Shortly after the plane went down, Reuters reported that Iran was refusing to turn over the black box from the plane over to Boeing.

“The Boeing Co. 737-800 single-aisle jet crashed after departing the Iranian capital’s Imam Khomeini International Airport en route to Kyiv, with photos of the crash site showing thousands of pieces of scattered and charred debris,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “Iran’s official state news agency said the plane crashed because of an engine fire caused by a technical fault. It didn’t explain how that conclusion was reached.”

This is a developing news story, refresh the page for updates.

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