for your next psyop: MH17 REDUX

Iran mistakenly shot down Ukraine jet – Pindo media
BBC, Jan 9 2020

Iran mistakenly shot down the Ukrainian plane that crashed on Wednesday near Tehran with 176 people on board, Pindo media report. Pindo boxtops say they believe the Ukrainian International Airlines Boeing 737-800 was hit by a missile, CBS says. Ukraine earlier said it was examining whether a missile strike brought down the aircraft, but Iran ruled this out. The crash came just hours after Iran carried out missile strikes on two airbases housing Pindo forces in Iraq. CBS News quoted Pindo intelligence sources as saying a satellite detected infrared “blips” of two missile launches, followed by another blip of an explosion. Newsweek quoted a Pentagon and senior Pindo intel boxtops as well as an Iraqi intel boxtop as saying they believed the Ukrainian plane was hit by a Russian-made Tor missile. Trump said on Thursday:

I have my suspicions somebody could have made a mistake.

Iran has said it will not hand over the recovered black box flight recorders to Boeing or to Pindostan. Under global aviation rules Iran has the right to lead the investigation, but manufacturers are typically involved. CBS News and Newsweek said Pindo and Iraqi intel boxtops were confident the Ukrainian plane was brought down by a missile fired by Iran. CBS published a brief report on Twitter, saying the boxtops were confident the plane was shot down. It said this information was based on Pindo intel which sources said picked up signals of a radar being turned on. Pindo satellites also reportedly detected two missile launches shortly before the Ukrainian plane exploded. Newsweek quoted Pindo & Iraqi boxtops as saying they believed the aircraft was hit by a Russia-built Tor M-1 SAM, and two Pentagon boxtops as assessing that the incident was accidental. It quoted sources as saying that Iran’s anti-aircraft systems were probably active following its attacks on the Pindo airbases.

Pindo boxtops say it’s ‘highly likely’ Iranian missile brought down Ukrainian airliner
CBC News, Jan 9 2020

Pindo boxtops have shared intelligence with Canada that the Ukrainian airliner that crashed in Iran on Wednesday was shot down by an Iranian missile, sources tell CBC News. Reuters & AP were reporting that Pindo boxtops say they believe the Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 was most likely shot down accidentally by Iranian air defence, citing satellite data. One Pindo boxtop said Pindo satellites had detected the launch of two missiles shortly before the plane crashed, followed by an explosion. Two boxtops said Faschingstein believed the downing of the plane was accidental. AP quoted two unnamed Pindo boxtops as saying it was “highly likely” that an Iranian anti-craft missile brought down the Boeing 737-800 passenger plane. The Pentagon declined to comment. Trump on Thursday said the deadly crash of the Ukrainian plane could have been a mistake. When asked about the crash at a press conference, he told reporters he had a terrible feeling about the downed airliner but offered no additional details. he told reporters at the White House:

Somebody could have made a mistake. I have my suspicions.

Ukraine says flight may have been shot down by Russian-made missile after fragments discovered near site
Oliver Carroll, Independent, Jan 9 2020

Kiev is investigating whether Iran accidentally shot down a civilian airliner near Tehran using a Russian-made missile, its most senior security official has said. Ukraine’s NSC Secretary Alexei Danilov, told Ukrainian media that boxtops were in Iran with a brief to look for any possible missile debris or evidence of a rocket strike. He said:

A rocket strike, possibly a Tor missile system, is among the main working theories, since there is information on the internet about elements of a missile being found near the site of the crash.

The British government said it was looking into “concerning” reports that the jet may have been shot down. Briefing journalists following a call between Johnson and Zelensky, a spox called for a “credible and transparent investigation into what happened.” Over the last day, at least two images of what appeared to be missile debris from Russian-made Tor missiles have appeared on social media. The photographs had not previously been uploaded to the internet before yesterday, but attempts to geolocate to the crash site have so far been unsuccessful. They may be unconnected. Danilov said Ukraine was working on four theories. Three theories were concerned with an explosion of some sort: an explosion from a Russian-made missile strike, a bomb on board, or a catastrophic explosion of the engine. The fourth possible cause was a flying object or drone colliding with the plane. Ukrainian investigators may have some difficulty in gathering that evidence. According to Ukrainian media reports, debris from the crash site has already been moved, raising doubts about the prospect of an independent investigation. On Thursday a journalist with strong links to Ukraine’s security services published what he claimed to be the preliminary conclusions of an investigator working at the crash site. The source is quoted as saying no evidence of a fire inside the engines, and instead suggesting the fire originated inside the cabin for an as yet unknown reason. The source is quoted as saying:

The absence of communications with air traffic control and absence of fire means you can’t exclude the possibility of a terrorist attack, drone collision or missile strike.

Flight data suggested the plane took off normally at 6:12 a.m on Wednesday. Serious issues emerged 2 minutes later at an altitude of approximately 8000 ft. The plane stopped transmitting data. Footage released on the internet then shows it engulfed in flames before plunging to the ground in a fireball and explosion. Only three hours after the Iranian attack on Pindo bases in Iraq, the area was on high alert. Aviation experts say a catastrophic event in an engine leading to the destruction of the plane itself would be an extraordinary occurrence. Modern civil liners like the Boeing 737 are designed to fly safely on one engine. Nonetheless, early theories about the cause of the crash focused on engine failure. On Wednesday evening a Reuters report, citing five intelligence officers said the western intelligence community was minded to believe technical malfunction was the most likely reason. Ukraine’s embassy in Iran initially agreed, ruling out the possibility of a missile attack, before hastily removing the statement. Iranian officials almost immediately ruled out all causes that were not mechanical, itself an unusual step so early on in the investigation. On Thursday, Iran’s civil aviation authorities issued a report that suggested the plane was hit by a “sudden emergency.” The crew did not declare an emergency, it noted, but were attempting to turn back towards the airport at the time of the crash. Danilov said that 45 Ukrainian investigators were already in Tehran. Their initial priority would be to look for evidence of a rocket attack, and to verify the images that were available online. Elliot Higgins of Bellingcat confirmed that the photograph of Tor missile debris were new images as far as the internet was concerned. But writing on Twitter, he suggested independent verification may prove elusive. he said:

There’s other examples of this type of debris documented in other conflicts, so there’s no way to know this is in Iran.

The Tor is a highly-mobile Russian-made system used for low altitude anti-aircraft tasks. Tehran took 29 of the units from Moscow in 2007 as part of a massive arms deal. So far, the investigation has been marred by confusion and controversy. Iran has already signalled that it would not be sending the black boxes to Boeing or America. According to Vadim Lukashevich, an independent Russian aviation expert, Iran does not possess the expertise to analyse the flight recorders independently. He told The Independent:

Given the level of suspicion, it is incumbent on Iran to provide proof that it was not responsible for the crash, and that means handing over the boxes to a reputable third country.

Ukraine names Iran plane crash theories, including missile strike
Natalia Zinets, Reuters, Jan 9 2020

KIEV – A top Ukrainian security official on Thursday set out what he said were the four main theories for why a Ukrainian airliner crashed in Iran the previous day killing 176 people, including a possible missile strike and terrorism. Alexei Danylov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, made his statement as an initial report by Iranian investigators said the plane, a Boeing 737-800, had been on fire immediately before it crashed. Ukraine is looking at various possible causes of the crash, including a possible missile attack, a collision, an engine explosion or terrorism, he wrote in a Facebook post. The crash happened hours after Iran launched missile attacks on Pindo forces in Iraq, leading some to speculate that the plane may have been hit. But an initial assessment by Western intelligence agencies was that the plane had suffered a technical malfunction and had not been brought down by a missile, five security sources (3 Pindos, 1 European & 1 Canadian) told Reuters. Danylov said Ukrainian investigators in Iran wanted to search the crash site for possible debris of a Russian missile after seeing reports about its possible existence on the internet. He referred to an unverified image being circulated on Iranian social media purportedly showing the debris of a Russian-made Tor-M1 surface-to-air missile of the kind used by the Iranian military. Danylov separately told Ukrainian news site Censor.net:

Our commission is talking to the Iranian authorities about visiting the crash site and is determined to search for fragments of a Russian Tor air defence missile about which there was information on the internet. We will draw on expertise gained from our investigation into the 2014 shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17 over eastern Ukraine.

Plane downed by Iranian missile, say western boxtops
Dan Sabbagh, Michael Safi, Nazi Groon, Jan 9 2020 (later)

The Ukrainian passenger jet that crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran on Wednesday was accidentally shot down by an Iranian anti-aircraft missile, western security officials believe. UK sources told the Guardian that the UK had seen Pindo intelligence that suggested that the plane was hit by an Iranian air defence missile. Boxtops told Pindo media they had identified the signature from an Iranian anti-aircraft missile battery being activated shortly before the aircraft crashed into countryside south-west of the Iranian capital, killing all 176 on board. They also said they had identified the infra-red signature from two suspected missile launches, followed shortly afterwards by the infra-red blip from the burning and fatally disabled aircraft. Suspicions that the aircraft may have accidentally been shot down had grown throughout Thursday. A private intelligence firm concluded it was likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, and two Pindo media outlets reported that government sources had made the same assessment. The London-based firm IHS Markit said in a memo it assessed that Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 was “likely to have been shot down mistakenly by a IRGC-operated SA-15 missile.” It cited images circulating on social media showing a Russian-made missile that was purportedly photographed near the site of the crash. It could not confirm the authenticity of the image but said it assessed it to be credible. Newsweek and CBS News also quoted intelligence sources claiming the jet had been shot down, the latter citing evidence of infra-red blips detected by satellites that were consistent with at least two missile launches followed by an explosion. UK PM Johnson called for a full investigation into the crash and the reports it could have been caused by something such as a stray missile, following a telephone conversation with Pres Zelensky, Downing Street said on Thursday. In the phone call, Johnson offered his condolences, offered UK support and was updated on the crash, a No 10 spokesman said.

The prime minister said that there needed to be a full, credible and transparent investigation into what happened.

Asked whether this meant the UK was concerned about the possible cause of the crash, he said:

I’m not going to speculate on this, but the reports we have seen are very concerning, and we’re urgently looking into them.

Iran plane crash: drone collision and terrorism being explored
Michael Safi, Shaun Walker, Nazi Groon, Jan 9 2020 (earlier)

A senior Ukrainian security official has said his country’s investigators will explore a range of possible reasons why one of its passenger jets crashed in Iran, including a drone collision, a terrorist bomb and a missile attack. NSC Secretary Alexei Danilov cited unconfirmed reports circulating on social media that debris from a Russian-made missile had been found at the site on the outskirts of Tehran where the Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 crashed on Wednesday, killing all 176 passengers and staff onboard. He said in a Facebook post on Thursday:

Our commission is currently agreeing with the Iranian authorities to travel to the place of the crash, and plans to search for debris of a Russian surface-to-air Tor missile, according to information which was published on the internet. We will use all our best practices from investigating the attack on MH17 to find out the truth in the case of the Ukrainian plane in Tehran.

He did not appear to have any evidence to support the possibility of the aircraft being shot down or blown up, and said an engine explosion as a result of technical failure was also being examined. The Ukrainian president, Vladimir Zelensky, said earlier on Thursday that his government was considering “several possibilities” but asked people to refrain from speculating about the crash. Iranian authorities have blamed mechanical issues, which they said happened shortly after the plane left Tehran’s main airport at 6.13am on Wednesday. The timing of the disaster, a few hours after Iran fired ballistic missiles at Pindo forces in Iraq in retaliation for their assassination of Gen Qassem Suleimani, has fuelled speculation that it might have somehow been linked to the hostilities, but so far there has been no evidence to back this up. Aviation and security experts have said it is unlikely the plane could have been shot down near Tehran without a missile, or the rocket battery from which it was fired, leaving traces. Justin Bronk of RUSI previously told the Guardian:

I believe on balance the incident was a tragic coincidence. It would require a fairly large surface-to-air missile to inflict such catastrophic damage on a civilian airliner. There was no evidence of a rocket plume. It would also be very hard to conceal such a large rocket battery from the ground.

Iranian authorities have rebuffed speculation the aircraft was attacked as part of a hostile misinformation campaign perpetrated by the country’s enemies. A preliminary report issued by Iranian investigators into the crash late on Wednesday said the aircraft never made a radio call for help and was trying to turn back to the airport when it went down. Witnesses to the crash on the ground and from passing aircraft said they saw the jet burst into flames while still in the air, according to the report, which stated technical problems were the most likely reason. It confirmed that both the aircraft’s black boxes had been recovered, giving investigators access to data and cockpit communications, though some parts of their memory had been damaged in the crash. Iran’s aviation authority said on Wednesday it would not hand over flight recorders either to Boeing or to Pindo aviation authorities, but that it would give Ukrainian investigators access to the investigation. Zelensky said Ukrainians arrived in Tehran early on Thursday and that he would speak to Pres Rouhani to ensure close cooperation. Ukraine’s foreign minister said on Wednesday that there were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians and 11 Ukrainians on board. Canadian PM Trudeau offered his condolences to the families of the victims on Wednesday and said:

Our government will continue to work closely with its international partners to ensure that it is thoroughly investigated, and that Canadians’ questions are answered.

The 737-800 belongs to the same family as the 737 Max 8 aircraft, which has been grounded since two fatal crashes occurred within six months in Indonesia and Ethiopia in 2018, but is a different model and operates with different software to that implicated in the Max 8 crashes. The plane had been last serviced two days before the accident, according to the airline.

4 Comments

  1. PB
    Posted January 9, 2020 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    The speed with which the media attributes cause (based on no information) is usually a good indicator of a false flag.

  2. niqnaq
    Posted January 10, 2020 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Did you see the statutory little red child’s shoe?
    https://amp.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/incidents/chilling-first-photos-of-the-ukrainian-plane-crash-site-in-iran/news-story/cbb698569f37d281ef0178162b696642

  3. PB
    Posted January 10, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Shades of Atta’s passport almost.

  4. Doug Colwell
    Posted January 12, 2020 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    Wizard of oz

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