Iran Shot Down Ukrainian Plane by Mistake, Pentagon Sources Tell U.S. Media

The Ukrainian airplane that crashed outside of Tehran on Tuesday was mistakenly struck down by an Iranian anti-aircraft missile system, U.S. weekly Newsweek reported Thursday, citing a Pentagon official and a senior American intelligence official. 

According to Newsweek, who also spoke to an Iraqi intelligence official, the Ukraine International Airlines flight that was en route from the Iranian capital to Kiev, was hit by a Tor-M1 surface-to-air missile system. 

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The U.S. Central Command did not comment on the report by Newsweek. 

Later on Thursday, three U.S. officials said they believe that the Ukrainian plane was shot down by an Iranian missile, citing satellite data.

According to satellite data, one U.S. official said, the Ukrainian International Airlines Boeing 737-800 bound for Kiev was airborne for two minutes after departing Tehran when the heat signatures of two surface-to-air missiles were detected.

That was quickly followed by an explosion in the vicinity of the plane, the official said. Heat signature data then showed the plane on fire as it went down.