Updated Jan 9, 2020 - World

Canada’s Justin Trudeau says evidence indicates Iranians shot down airliner

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at a press conference Thursday that intelligence from multiple sources indicates that an Iranian surface-to-air missile caused the crash of a Ukraine Airlines Boeing 737-800 near Tehran earlier this week.

Why it matters: The crash, which occurred the same night that Iran launched missile attacks against Iraqi military bases that house U.S. troops, resulted in the death of all 176 people on board, including at least 63 Canadians. Trudeau says the downing of the airliner may have been "unintentional."

When a reporter asked Thursday if the U.S. is partly responsible for the crash due to the escalation of tensions with Iran, Trudeau stressed the need for a full investigation and said, "I think that's one of the many questions that people will be thinking about and trying to find answers to."

  • Iran has said they are currently holding onto the plane's black boxes, but they will likely grant Ukrainian investigators access — potentially providing crucial information on the circumstances surrounding the crash.
  • Trudeau said Canada confirmed the new intelligence over the course of Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

The backdrop: Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, said Thursday that Ukrainian investigators were looking into unconfirmed reports that a Russian-made Tor surface-to-air missile had been found near the site of the plane crash.

  • He stressed that officials are still investigating the cause and are still examining the possibility that the crash could have been caused by a terror attack, a collision with a drone or an engine explosion.
  • President Trump told reporters Thursday that he has his "suspicions" about the crash, implying that "a mistake" could have been made by Iran regarding its downing.

Go deeper: Ukrainian airline says "error probability is minimal" in Tehran crash

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