A video widely disseminated on social media shows a Ukrainian passenger plane being hit over Tehran, The New York Times confirmed on Thursday.
The footage appears to show a small explosion occurring when a missile hits the aircraft, according to The Times.
The Times verified that the location where the video was taken matched the last known location of the plane’s transponder.
Nariman Gharib, a journalist and activist, shared the footage to Twitter earlier in the day but said he was not able to verify its accuracy.
Investigative journalism website Bellingcat also independently verified the location of the video.
The buildings to the left of the camera were constructed after the most recent Google Earth satellite image (September 2019), and are visible in a Terraserver satellite image. You can see our approximate geolocation on Google Maps here:https://t.co/667LS2KWd7 pic.twitter.com/hFVeIHHxJQ
— Bellingcat (@bellingcat) January 9, 2020
Iran shot down the Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed near Tehran on Tuesday by mistake, U.S. officials told multiple news outlets Thursday.
The United States believes Iran’s Tor-M1 surface-to-air missile system fired at the Boeing 737 and caused the deadly wreck, a Pentagon official and a senior U.S. intelligence official told Newsweek, which broke the story. The anonymous officials said the Pentagon’s assessment was that the incident was accidental.
CBS News, citing its own sources, reported that U.S. intelligence picked up signals of a radar being turned on and two surface-to-air missile launches. The sources said the launches were detected shortly before the plane exploded and that missile fragments were found near the crash site.
Officials also told The Associated Press it was “highly likely” an Iranian anti-aircraft missile downed the jetliner.
Speaking to reporters in Washington Thursday, President Donald Trump said he believes Iran is responsible for the crash, which killed all 176 people on board.
“Somebody could have made a mistake on the other side,” he said, noting the plane was flying in a “pretty rough neighborhood.”
While he did not directly accuse the Islamic Republic, Trump dismissed Tehran’s claims that a mechanical issue was at fault.
“Some people say it was mechanical,” he said. “I personally don’t think that’s even a question.”