U.S. officials confident Iran shot down passenger jet
U.S. officials are confident Iran shot down a Ukrainian jetliner in the hours after the Iranian missile attack on U.S. targets earlier this week, CBS News has learned. The Ukrainian International Airlines plane crashed Wednesday soon after takeoff from Tehran’s airport, killing all 176 people on board.
U.S. intelligence picked up signals of a radar being turned on, sources told CBS News. U.S. satellites also detected two surface-to-air missile launches, which happened shortly before the plane exploded, CBS News was told.
Federal officials were briefed on the intelligence Thursday, CBS News transportation Kris Van Cleave reports. A source who was in the briefing said it appears missile components were found near the crash site. The plane was believed to have been mistakenly targeted.
Trudeau: Evidence indicates Iran shot down plane
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said intelligence from multiple sources, including Canadian intelligence, indicated that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile. “This may well have been unintentional,” Trudeau told reporters during a press conference Thursday in Ottawa, the nation’s capital.
Of the 176 people killed in the crash, at least 63 were Canadians. Trudeau called for an in-depth investigation into the crash.
The plane was headed for Kiev. Trudeau said he spoke with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky about the crash.
Iranian authorities have said they want to keep the plane’s black boxes in Iran but told Zelensky that Ukrainian investigators will have access to them, Trudeau said. Asked about President Trump’s comment earlier Thursday that the plane was flying in a “rough neighborhood,” Trudeau said he would let Mr. Trump’s words stand for themselves.
Newly surfaced video appears to show moment of impact
Newly surfaced video appears to show the moment of impact as the plane was gaining altitude, CBS News transportation correspondent Kris Van Cleave reports. The video lines up with flight data that showed a normal takeoff until the plane reached an altitude of about 8,000 feet and suffered a sudden catastrophic event, Van Cleave reports.
Iranians call U.S. conclusion not true
The head of Iran’s civil aviation authority has said the U.S. conclusion is simply not true, CBS News senior foreign correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reports from Tehran. A website affiliated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard called the U.S. intelligence a conspiracy cooked up by Iran’s enemies, Palmer reports.
Trump: “I had my suspicions”
President Trump was asked about the crash during an event at the White House on Thursday morning. “I had my suspicions,” the president said. “I don’t want to say that because other people have their suspicions also.”
“It’s a tragic thing when I see that,” Mr. Trump said. “It’s a tragic thing, but somebody could have made a mistake on the other side.”
“It was flying in a pretty rough neighborhood, and somebody could have made a mistake,” the president said. “Some people say it was mechanical. I personally don’t think that’s even a question.”