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Author Topic: War Provocations and Peace Actions  (Read 10497 times)

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AGelbert

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BreakingNews: Fresh US airstrike 💥 hits PMU convoy
« Reply #360 on: January 03, 2020, 11:11:29 pm »
PressTV

News   /   Iraq   /  BreakingNews

No let-up in terror: Fresh US airstrike 💥 hits PMU convoy

Friday, 03 January 2020 11:34 PM  [ Last Update: Saturday, 04 January 2020 2:27 AM ]

SNIPPET:

Shortly after the United States’ assassination of a senior Iranian commander in Baghdad, a fresh American airstrike hits a convoy belonging to Iraq’s anti-terror fighters north of the Arab country’s capital, reportedly killing six people.

The strike came almost exactly 24 hours after the Friday attacks that martyred Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), as they were travelling on the Baghdad International Airport road.

Read more:👀
https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2020/01/03/615302/Iraq-airstrikes-Popular-Mobilization-Units-Baghdad



Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Quote
For more than six decades, the U.S. has played a central role in fomenting disasters that have destroyed the lives of entire generations in Iraq and Iran. Any criticisms of Iran’s role today cannot efface this ugly record.

I'm reading the Iran Cables, a series of articles published by the Intercept. The NYT is publishing them too, though that lowers their value for me, since the NYT has never seen a war for empire they did not cheerlead with lots of alarmist bulllshit plus doubletalk and lies about "freedom and democracy". As usual, after the money for the MIC has been spent, the NYT comes back years or decades later with some truth to preserve their credibility. Unlike the NYT, The Intercept has, so far, stuck to the unvarnished truth, so I decided to read the Iran Cables.

The Iran Cables cover Iranian Intelligence operations (of which there are TWO factions, not one) in Iraq. 🦍 U.S. actions (perpetrated almost exclusively for control of Iraqi oil) in Iraq from 1963 😲 to the present are covered by the reporters writing about the several hundred cables. The Iran Cables detail MOIS (Ministry of Intelligence of the Islamic Republic of Iran) operations in Iraq from late 2013 through early 2015 and include reports from Iranian assets at the highest levels of the Iraqi government.

The "Iran Cables" articles cover a lot of territory, but any serious student of history should read them. I find them to be credible.

Here's a snippet from one the the Iran Cables that shows why the Neocons have never wanted to do anything but to divide, conquer and destroy, while we-the-people are coerced to fund this evil, counterproductive CRAP:

Quote
“The U.S. can overthrow Saddam Hussein,” said Aziz, an Iraqi Christian and one of the most senior figures in Saddam’s government. “You can destroy the Baath Party and secular Arab nationalism.” But, he warned, “America will open a Pandora’s box that it will never be able to close.”

A LITTLE OVER a decade before 😈 George W. Bush decided to overthrow the Iraqi government, his father’s administration had taken a very different path. After mercilessly destroying Iraq’s civilian and military infrastructure in a bombing campaign during the 1991 Gulf War, George H.W. Bush was persuaded that it would be too dangerous to march on Baghdad. Not because of the potential human costs, or deaths of U.S. soldiers in combat, but because Saddam was a known quantity who had already proven valuable in the 1980s when he attacked Iran and triggered the brutal Iran-Iraq War. During that eight-year conflict, the U.S. armed both countries but overwhelmingly favored Baghdad. More than a million people died in trench warfare reminiscent of World War I. Henry Kissinger put a fine point on the U.S. strategy in that war when he quipped that it is “a shame there can only be one loser.”

Even after the war had ended, the American fear of Iran outweighed any appetite for regime change in Iraq. So Saddam remained.

Bush’s 🦍 son took a different view. In the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, high-ranking figures in his administration began falsely connecting Saddam’s regime to Al Qaeda. In reality, the religious extremists were mortal enemies of the Baathists. But the process for Saddam’s removal had already been determined by neoconservatives who had been bent on waging war against Iraq years before 9/11.

Full article:


Surly,
Your daily news roundup is always comprehensive, as well as being concise, but your January 04, 2020 Doomstead Diner Daily news roundup is a particularly important read for those who care about the unvarnished TRUTH. 🦉

Your headlines about Iran today, which shed light on how they may react to the latest Trump Fascists 'R' US murder and mayhem, are better understood when the information in the Iran Cables is digested.

« Last Edit: January 04, 2020, 04:16:40 pm by AGelbert »
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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What is she afraid of? Emma’s back to school nightmare
1,886 views•Sep 10, 2019


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No child should go #BackToSchool in fear – but Emma has more reasons than most. This back-to-school season, many parents are packing bags, lunchboxes and sports gear, as they get their kids ready for school every morning. But for too many children, going back to school means surviving in a war zone. Watch now as Emma prepares for her first day back – haunted by the imagination of what war is like for children like her around the world. For kids caught in conflict, war leaves wounds we cannot see. But you can change this story. Take action now to Stop the War on Children: www.stopwaronchildren.org.
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About Save the Children: Save the Children invests in childhood – every day, in times of crisis and for our future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. By transforming children's lives now, we change the course of their future and ours.
 
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Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, Popular Resistance.

January 5, 2020 | , NEWSLETTER






Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

Surly1

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Iraqi PM reveals Soleimani was on peace mission when assassinated, exploding Trump’s lie of ‘imminent attacks’



The Trump administration claimed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was planning “imminent attacks” on US interests when it assassinated him. That lie was just destroyed, but not before countless corporate media outlets transmitted it to the public.

By Max Blumenthal

Desperate to justify the US drone assassination of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted that Washington had made an “intelligence-based assessment” that Soleimani was “actively planning in the region” to attack American interests before he was killed.

President Donald Trump justified his fateful decision to kill the Iranian general in even more explicit language, declaring that Soleimani was planning “imminent attacks” on US diplomatic facilities and personnel across the Middle East.

“We took action last night to stop a war,” Trump claimed. “We did not take action to start a war.”

Trump’s dubious rationale for an indisputably criminal assassination has been repeated widely across corporate media networks, and often without any skepticism or debate.

At a January 3 State Department briefing, where reporters finally got the chance to demand evidence for the claim of an “imminent” threat, one US official erupted in anger.

“Jesus, do we have to explain why we do these things?” he barked at the press.

Two days later, when Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi addressed his country’s parliament, Trump’s justification for killing Soleimani was exposed as a cynical lie.

According to Abdul-Mahdi, he had planned to meet Soleimani on the morning the general was killed to discuss a diplomatic rapproachment that Iraq was brokering between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Abdul-Mahdi said that Trump personally thanked him for the efforts, even as he was planning the hit on Soleimani – thus creating the impression that the Iranian general was safe to travel to Baghdad.


But when Trump and his administration attempt to lie the public into war against a designated evildoer, a swath of the corporate media responds with reflexive trust, then shrugs when the lie is exposed in broad daylight.

Surly1

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Re: War Provocations and Peace Actions
« Reply #365 on: January 07, 2020, 06:44:41 am »
Interesting Twitter thread I cam across by one Jared Yates Sexton. Unwound by Thread Reader.
https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1213842821368680448.html

The evangelicals I'm talking to see the escalation of Iran as fulfillment of End Days prophecy, cementing their perception of Trump as a faulty messiah used by God. Many are bragging openly about their foresight in prepping, others are purchasing more weapons.

Seems as good a time as any to remind everyone of what I call the Cult of the Shining City, which is white identity Christianity that blends segregationism, prosperity gospel, and nationalistic occultism that originated as a response to the Civil Rights Movement.

As Civil Rights leaders used Christianity as a means to push for equality, white evangelicals responded by changing the gospel to focusing on wealth and power. Trump is part of this tradition and the Cult of the Shining City sees him as an embodiment of their teachings.

In the 1980s, with the rise of Reaganism and burgeoning millennial angst, the Cult of the Shining City was obsessed with apocalyptic conspiracy theories that focused on minorities, Satan, and the New World Order. They call it the Deep State now.

New World Order/Deep State conspiracy theories are all anti-Semitic and white supremacist based. It's about other groups coming together to take power from the white race. Trump, because of his adherence to the prosperity gospel and white supremacy, is a natural leader for them.

Whether Trump is aware of the Cult of the Shining City or not, it seems like many actions have been taken to establish himself as a faulty messiah, including the Israeli embassy. This Iran move is tinged in it, and the members see it as a step toward a final, apocalyptic showdown
 
Something to think about: Cult of the Shining City members look for coincidences and timing to show meaning. They see the impeachment and the Iran escalation as inextricably linked. It's Good vs. Evil, God vs. Satan. Trump, here, is the proxy.

It's something to remember that they're not looking for peace. The Cult of the Shining City is constantly awaiting war on a scale we've never seen. World ending destruction. They're pushing for this to not only turn to war but to destroy literally everything. That's the energy.

The unfortunate truth is that the Cult of the Shining City is just another side of the same coin as death cults like ISIS. We have people on both sides looking for the exact same war, fighting over who Jesus will fight for. The rest of us, unfortunately, are stuck in the middle.

Surly1

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Re: War Provocations and Peace Actions
« Reply #366 on: January 07, 2020, 09:01:07 am »

AGelbert

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Seven Things You Should Know About 🦀 Donald Trump and Iran
2,074 views•Premiered 35 minutes ago


The Intercept
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President Trump kicked off 2020 by ordering the assassination of Qassim Suleimani, the top Iranian general who was considered to be the second most important man in Iran.

Everyone’s worried what happens next, what kind of retaliation is coming America’s way, and whether we’re on the verge of some sort of major conflict in the Middle East—the kind of war that would make Iraq look like a walk in the park.

The Intercept's Mehdi Hasan says there's seven things you should know about Donald Trump and Iran.

Subscribe to our channel: https://interc.pt/subscribe
Category News & Politics
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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How Soleimani's Assassination Violates International Law and Puts Peace Further Out of Reach
11,527 views•Jan 6, 2020


The Real News Network
375K subscribers

Phyllis Bennis says Congress must stop Trump from taking the U.S. to war without any justification or provocation.

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Soleimani’s Assassination Brings US Closer to War with Iran
7,410 views•Jan 6, 2020


The Real News Network
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Trump threatens Iran with more war crimes as Democrats move to invoke the War Powers Act.

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Category News & Politics
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Did Trump Start A World War?
« Reply #369 on: January 07, 2020, 06:52:49 pm »

Did Trump Start A World War?
68,323 views•Jan 3, 2020


Thom Hartmann Program
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Donald Trump Could have just started a third World War...  but to understand what's happening in Iran today, we have to understand what happened in Iraq back in 2003. 
 
🔴 Subscribe for more clips like this: https://www.youtube.com/user/thomhart...

Donald Trump's latest move is in line with what Bush and Cheney did to get us into the war with Iraq in 2003, Thom Hartmann breaks down the news to give us a background on the region.

Is there any time for the people of the United States to stop from going to war with Iran?

Will a war with Iran boil out into a regional or a world war, and how will Russia or China react?

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Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Pentagon Admits that attacking Iranian Cultural Sites (🦀 Trump's threat) Would be War Crimes.
Will Soleimani's Assassination Set Back Iraq's October Revolution?
1,563 views•Jan 7, 2020


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Soleimani's killing could open a path for peace if cooler heads prevail, argues professor of Middle East politics Sabah Alnasseri.

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Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

Surly1

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Re: War Provocations and Peace Actions
« Reply #371 on: January 08, 2020, 07:00:06 am »


A reminder that Fat Orange takes full credit for the performance of the stock market.

Surly1

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Don't Say You Weren't Warned
« Reply #372 on: January 08, 2020, 08:58:25 am »
The Nightmare Stage of Trump’s Rule Is Here

Unstable and impeached, the president pushes the U.S. toward war with Iran.

Damon Winter/The New York Times

There are no more adults in the room.

After three harrowing years, we’ve reached the point many of us feared from the moment Donald Trump was elected. His decision to kill Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s second most important official, made at Mar-a-Lago with little discernible deliberation, has brought the United States to the brink of a devastating new conflict in the Middle East.

We don’t yet know how Iran will retaliate, or whether all-out war will be averted. But already, NATO has suspended its mission training Iraqi forces to fight ISIS. Iraq’s Parliament has voted to expel American troops — a longtime Iranian objective. (On Monday, U.S. forces sent a letter saying they were withdrawing from Iraq in response, only to then claim that it was a draft released in error.) On Sunday, Iran said it will no longer be bound by the remaining restrictions on its nuclear program in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the deal that Trump abandoned in 2018. Trump has been threatening to commit war crimes by destroying Iran’s cultural sites and tried to use Twitter to notify Congress of his intention to respond to any Iranian reprisals with military escalation.

The administration has said that the killing of Suleimani was justified by an imminent threat to American lives, but there is no reason to believe this. One skeptical American official told The New York Times that the new intelligence indicated nothing but “a normal Monday in the Middle East,” and Democrats briefed on it were unconvinced by the administration’s case. The Washington Post reported that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — who last year agreed with a Christian Broadcasting Network interviewer that God might have sent Trump to save Israel from the “Iranian menace” — has been pushing for a hit on Suleimani for months.

Rather than self-defense, the Suleimani killing seems like the dreadful result of several intersecting dynamics. There’s the influence of rapture-mad Iran hawks like Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence. Defense officials who might have stood up to Trump have all left the administration. According to Peter Bergen’s book “Trump and His Generals,” James Mattis, Trump’s former secretary of defense, instructed his subordinates not to provide the president with options for a military showdown with Iran. But with Mattis gone, military officials, The Times reported, presented Trump with the possibility of killing Suleimani as the “most extreme” option on a menu of choices, and were “flabbergasted” when he picked it.

Trump likely had mixed motives. He was reportedly upset over TV images of militia supporters storming the American Embassy in Iraq. According to The Post, he also was frustrated by “negative coverage” of his decision last year to order and then call off strikes on Iran.

Beyond that, Trump, now impeached and facing trial in the Senate, has laid out his rationale over years of tweets. The president is a master of projection, and his accusations against others are a decent guide to how he himself will behave. He told us, over and over again, that he believed Barack Obama would start a war with Iran to “save face” and because his “poll numbers are in a tailspin” and he needed to “get re-elected.” To Trump, a wag-the-dog war with Iran evidently seemed like a natural move for a president in trouble.

It’s hard to see how this ends without disaster. Defenders of Trump’s move have suggested that he might have re-established deterrence against Iran, frightening its leadership into restraint. But Vali Nasr, a Middle East scholar at Johns Hopkins University and former senior adviser to Obama’s State Department, tells me that Iran likely believes that it has to re-establish deterrence against the United States.

“If they don’t do anything, or if they don’t do enough, then Trump will get comfortable with this kind of behavior, and that worries them,” said Nasr. To Iranians, after all, America is the aggressor, scrapping a nuclear agreement that they were abiding by and imposing a punishing “maximum pressure” sanctions campaign. Just like militarists in the United States, they’re likely to assume that weakness invites attacks. “I don’t think they want to provoke war, but they do want to send a signal that they’re prepared for it,” said Nasr.

Even if Iran were to somehow decide not to strike back at the United States, it’s still ramping up its nuclear program, and Trump has obliterated the possibility of a return to negotiations. “His maximum pressure policy has failed,” Nasr said of Trump. “He has only produced a more dangerous Iran.”

Meanwhile, ISIS benefits from the breach between Iraq and America. “ISIS suicide and vehicle bombings have nearly stopped entirely,” said Brett McGurk, who until 2018 was special presidential envoy to the coalition fighting ISIS. “Only a few years ago, there were 50 per month, killing scores of Iraqis. That’s because of what we have done and continue to do. These networks will regenerate rapidly if we are forced to leave, and they will again turn their attention on the West.”

Unlike with North Korea, it’s difficult to imagine any photo op or exchange of love letters defusing the crisis the president has created. Most of this country has never accepted Trump, but over the past three years, many have gotten used to him, lulled into uneasy complacency by an establishment that has too often failed to treat him as a walking national emergency. Now the nightmare phase of the Trump presidency is here. The biggest surprise is that it took so long.


Surly1

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GOP Sen. Mike Lee furious after an 'insulting' Senate briefing on Trump's Iran strike: 'The worst briefing ... on a military issue I've seen in 9 years'



  • Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah was furious on Wednesday after a Senate briefing on President Donald Trump's decision to order an airstrike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
  • Lee called it "probably the worst briefing, at least on a military issue, I've seen in nine years I've been here."
  • He said he "walked into that briefing undecided" on whether to support a war-powers resolution being pushed by Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia. The resolution would limit the Trump administration's ability to take further military action against Iran without congressional authorization.
  • "That briefing is what changed my mind," Lee said. "I'm now going to support it."
  • Other lawmakers — both Republican and Democratic — also ripped the Trump administration after being briefed on the strike, saying they saw little evidence to support such drastic measures against Iran. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah was furious on Wednesday after a Senate briefing on President Donald Trump's decision to order an airstrike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, which brought tensions with Iran to a boiling point.

Lee told reporters that he "walked into that briefing undecided" on whether to support a war-powers resolution being pushed by Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia. The resolution would limit the Trump administration's ability to take further military action against Iran without congressional authorization.

"That briefing is what changed my mind," Lee said. "I'm now going to support it."

He went on to call the briefing "probably the worst briefing, at least on a military issue, I've seen in nine years I've been here."

"Drive-by notification or after-the-fact lame briefings like the one we just received aren't adequate," he said.

"I find it insulting; I find it demeaning" to the Senate and the Constitution, the senator added. "It's un-American, it's unconstitutional, and it's wrong," he said after adding that the people who briefed senators on Trump's strike said the lawmakers could not debate the merits of the measure.

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who stood alongside Lee as they addressed reporters, said he would also support a war-powers resolution to block further action against Iran.

"Today, this is Sen. Lee and I saying we are not abdicating our duty," Rand said.

Several other congressional lawmakers have voiced their dissatisfaction with the administration's briefings on the strike against Soleimani, who was Iran's most powerful military official and a widely revered figure within the nation.

Asked if she was convinced that there was evidence that Soleimani was planning an "imminent" attack on US personnel, as the administration has said, Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts replied, "No" but said she could not elaborate further.

Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal echoed that, saying, "There was no raw evidence presented that this was an imminent threat."

On Tuesday, as questions swirled about how robust the intelligence supporting the Soleimani strike was, Defense Secretary Mark Esper was asked whether the Iranian attacks against US personnel were days or weeks away before Soleimani's death.

"I think it's more fair to say days, for sure," Esper said.

But reporting from The New York Times' Rukmini Callimachi indicated that the underlying intelligence for the strike was "razor thin."

Callimachi reported that one source told her there wasn't evidence of an "imminent" attack on US interests that could kill hundreds, as the White House has said. "The official describes the reading of the intelligence as an illogical leap," she reported.

In the days since the Soleimani strike, both Iran and the US ratcheted up their actions and rhetoric amid historically high tensions. Iran on Sunday withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and the US sent another 3,500 troops into Iraq after ordering Americans to evacuate the region in the wake of Soleimani's assassination.

Trump also ignited a firestorm when he tweeted on Saturday that he would target 52 Iranian cultural sites – which would constitute a war crime if carried out — if Iran retaliated for Soleimani's death. The president later walked back his comments and said he would "obey the law" with respect to military action.

On Tuesday, Iran retaliated against the US for the Soleimani strike by launching a missile attack on US and coalition forces in Iraq. However, Trump announced on Wednesday that the attack didn't result in any American casualties and said Iran "appears to be standing down."

Rather than retaliate with force, the US will impose tougher economic sanctions on Iran, Trump said, adding that the days of tolerating Iran's malign behavior "are over."


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Follow the link for other images and video.

Ukrainian Flight 752 was on fire and seemed to be turning back before it crashed in Iran and killed 176 people, the first report into the disaster said



Sinéad Baker
1 hour ago
  • The first report into the Ukraine International Airlines disaster in Iran said that the aircraft was on fire in the air before it crashed and had turned back towards Tehran Airport, suggesting it was trying to return.
  • Iran's aviation authority released its preliminary report on Thursday, just one day after Ukrainian Flight 752 crashed in Iran and killed all 176 people on board.
  • The report said the plane encountered a technical problem, but did not specify what kind.
  • Other Iranian authorities had blamed a technical problem in the hours after the crash, but later walked back their statements.
  • Speculation is mounting that something else may have happened to the plane amid military tension between the US and Iran and as the airline defends its plane, maintenance, and crew.
  • The final investigation into the causes of the crash is likely to take many more months.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The initial report into the crash of Ukrainian Flight 752 in Iran, that killed all 176 people on board, concluded that the plane was on fire before it crashed, and that it appeared to be trying to turn back as it plunged to the ground.

Iran's Civil Aviation Organization's report into Wednesday's crash said that the jet encountered technical problems soon after it took off en route to Kyiv, Ukraine.

It did not elaborate on what sort of technical problem the plane may have suffered, but the idea that the plane was brought down by technical problems, rather than being shot down or facing another problem, is in line with those that had been released by Iranian authorities in the hours after the crash.

But some of those statements have been walked back since.

The preliminary report was released on Thursday, just one day after the crash, and is not intended as the final report into the disaster. Final reports into aviation disasters tend to take many months, or even years, to be published.

Thursday's report said the plane changed direction after encountering the unidentified technical problem and was facing the direction of Tehran airport when it crashed, suggesting it was trying to go back.

Ali Abedzadeh, the head of Iran's Civil Aviation Organization, said the plane did not make any distress calls.

The Ukraine International Airlines plane, a Boeing 737 800-NG, crashed just minutes after takeoff from Imam Khomeini airport. The airline has defended the plane's maintenance, saying it was only delivered in 2016 and had been inspected just two days before the crash.

In a statement released Wednesday, the airline also pointed to the experience of the crew. Ukraine International Airlines said the pilots on the flight both had a minimum of 7,600 hours of flight experience on Boeing 737 planes.

The report, which cited eyewitnesses on the ground, said that Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 created a massive explosion when it crashed. That was likely due to the fuel on board for the journey combusting, it added.

The report is in line with video footage that was shared by the semi-official Iranian Students' News Agency on Wednesday, which appeared to show the plane on fire in the air before it hits the ground, filling the sky with flames.

The content of the video, which can be seen below, and its connection to this crash has not yet been verified.

خبرگزاری ایسنا@isna_farsi

نخستین ویدئو از سقوط هواپیمای اوکراینی اطراف شهریار

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Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said it was Ukraine's priority to find the cause of the crash, while Canada's Justin Trudeau vowed to said: "Our government will continue to work closely with its international partners to ensure that … [the crash] is thoroughly investigated, and that Canadians' questions are answered."

63 of the people on board were Canadian citizens, Ukraine's foreign minister said.

But their vows come as speculation mounts over the cause of the crash, and Iranian authorities walking back initial assertions that a technical fault was definitely to blame.

Speculation is rampant as to the cause of the crash, and the investigation might not be totally straightforward

Speculation has mounted as to what caused the crash, and the investigation is already showing signs of political friction.

Iranian authorities said in the hours after the crash that it had been caused by technical problems, dismissing the idea that it could have been caused by a terrorist or military attack.

But Abedzadeh later told the Iranian news outlet Mehr that there was no evidence of technical problems, according to reporting by The New York Times. This was contradicted again by the report.

" data-content-type="image/jpeg" data-srcs="{"https://image.businessinsider.com/5e17027ef442311585685704":{"contentType":"image/jpeg","aspectRatioW":900,"aspectRatioH":599}}" alt="Iran crash" />
Relatives of the victims of the Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 crash in the Iranian capital Tehran, react by a memorial at the Boryspil airport outside Kiev on January 8, 2020.
SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images

A spokesperson for Iran's military said the crash was not caused by Iranian military action: "They are spreading propaganda that the Ukrainian flight was targeted. This is ridiculous. Most of the passengers on this flight were our valued young Iranian men and women."

Ukraine's embassy in Tehran initially dismissed the idea of terrorism or a rocket attack soon after the crash, blaming an engine failure instead. That statement was later deleted and replaced by one that said the cause is unknown and is being investigated.

According to Reuters, the embassy said the earlier statement was based on preliminary information but was not official, and that Iranian authorities had asked the embassy to remove it.

Suspicion over what might have caused the crash has been heightened due to the increased tensions in Iran after the US assassinated its top general and Iran subsequently attacked bases housing US troops in Iraq.

Iran attacked two Iraqi military bases that housed US and coalition forces with ballistic missiles hours before the crash on Wednesday, but there is currently no suggestion that the two incidents are linked.

Ukraine said on Thursday that its investigators want to search the crash site for possible missile debris from a Russian missile, Reuters reported.

Peter Goelz, a former managing director of the US' National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), told The New York Times that: "Investigators should put consideration of an attack." 

Zelensky said on Facebook that "All possible versions of what occurred must be examined."

Iran, where the crash occurred, must mount an investigation under international law.

But such investigations also typically involve countries where many victims are from — in this case, Ukraine and Canada — as well as the plane's manufacturer.

In this case, political tensions between the US and Iran may prevent the NTSB, which often assists international investigations that involve Boeing, from getting involved.

It said on Wednesday that it is "monitoring the developments" and is working with US agencies to "determine the best course of action." 

Boeing, one of the US's biggest companies, may struggle to get involved.

Abedzadeh said that Iran's Civil Aviation Organization would not give the plane's black boxes to the company. He said the initial findings had been sent to the US, alongside other countries.

Sahar Esfandiari contributed reporting to this story


 

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