Newly-released video shows Iranian missiles striking Ukrainian passenger plane

Newly-released video shows Iranian missiles striking Ukrainian passenger plane
Fresh details have emerged about the downed Ukrainian airliner as Iranians protest their government's handling of the tragedy.
3 min read
15 January, 2020
Protests in Iran continue over the plane deaths [Getty]
Security camera footage showing not one, but two Iranian missiles hitting Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 has emerged.

The video, which was verified by The New York Times, shows that the two missiles were launched from an Iranian military site around eight miles from the plane.

The new footage, which was filmed by a camera on a roof of a building near the village of Bidkaneh, explains why the plane’s transponder stopped working seconds before it was hit by a second missile.

The plane was hit by the first missile, which disabled the transponder, before being hit by a second strike approximately 23 seconds later.

The downed plane held 176 passengers, all of whom were killed in the mistaken air strike, which Iran had initially denied was its fault, before international pressure prompted the country to admit responsibility.

The military blamed the tragedy on human error and admitted the plane had been misidentified as a cruise missile flying over the capital.

Video footage shows that neither hit had taken the plane down, and it could be seen circling towards Tehran’s international airport.

Flight data shows it was one of 19 planes to take off from Tehran mere hours after Iran launched missiles at military bases in Iraq housing US troops.

Many criticised the Iranian government for failing to issue a commercial no-fly zone while a military strike was taking place.

Minutes later it exploded and crashed down, almost hitting the village of Khalaj Abad.

Fresh protests

Iran announced its first arrests over the accidental shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger jet, as protesters vented their anger over the catastrophic blunder for a fourth consecutive day.

Nearly two weeks after the US killed top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in Iraq, tensions with the West increased further as EU countries on Tuesday launched an arbitration process charging Tehran with failing to observe commitments in the 2015 nuclear deal, prompting Iran to warn of unspecified "consequences".

The Ukraine International Airlines plane was brought down by a missile shortly after takeoff on Wednesday, killing all 176 passengers and crew on board.

Read More: 'Nobody resembles him but Assad': Syrians celebrate death of Soleimani

Iran has struggled to contain the fallout over its handling of the air disaster, after initially dismissing Western claims it was brought down by a missile before admitting it on Saturday.

The tragedy has seen hundreds of angry protesters, most of them students, take to the streets, apparently chanting slogans against the Islamic republic.

In another sign of growing dissent, a group of artists cancelled their participation in the Fajr festival, held each year on the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, according to Hamshahri newspaper, which is owned by Tehran City Hall.

Meanwhile, group of reformist journalists in Tehran published a statement denouncing the lack of freedom of the press and official media

"We are attending the burial of public trust", said the statement, which the official IRNA news agency reported on.

Even a key state TV personality, Elmira Sharifi, hit out at authorities on Twitter.

"At a time when you should come and give your apologies and explanations, you stay quiet! Why are you bringing us shame in front of the public?".

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