Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 09, 2020

Pentagon Accuses Iran Of Shooting Down A Ukrainian Plane But Its Evidence Is Flimsy

The Pentagon is accusing Iran's air defense of shooting down the Ukraninan plane that crashed yesterday near Tehran. The Pentagon says that it was an accidental incident. But the evidence on which the claim is based is flimsy.

We reported yesterday on flight PS752:

Hours after Iran had launched the missiles a Ukrainian airliner crashed three minutes after it had taken off from Tehran airport. All 176 people on board died. The passengers were mostly from Iran, Canada and the Ukraine. The airplane was a three years old Boeing 737-800 NG operated by Ukrainian International Airlines, the country's flag carrier. Video shows the burning airliner coming down on a glide path. Photos from the crash site show shrapnel like impacts on the fuselage. The evidence is consistent with an uncontained turbine disc rupture but other potential causes can not be ruled out. The incident will be investigated like all other airliner crashes.

In the update we added:

Higher quality daylight pictures of the crashed Ukrainian plane show that at least some of the "shrapnel impact holes" are not holes at all but are debris or dirt lying on top of the aircraft pieces. Additional pictures also show no evidence of an externally induced event.

The Flight Data Recorders of the airplane were found. Iran will download the data from them or, if it does not have that capability, will ask some other country (France?, Germany?) to do so. A preliminary accident report will be published after one month.

Newsweek now reports:

The Ukrainian flight that crashed just outside the Iranian capital of Tehran was struck by an anti-aircraft missile system, a Pentagon official, a senior U.S. intelligence official and an Iraqi intelligence official told Newsweek.
...
The aircraft is believed to have been struck by a Russia-built Tor-M1 surface-to-air missile system, known to NATO as Gauntlet, the three officials told Newsweek.

Two Pentagon officials assess that the incident was accidental. Iran's anti-aircraft were likely active following the country's missile attack, which came in response to the U.S. killing last week of Revolutionary Guard Quds Force commander Major General Qassem Soleimani, sources said.

How would an Iraqi intelligence official, likely controlled by the CIA, know what happened in Tehran? The evidence the reporter notes is not very convincing:

Images began to circulate Wednesday of what appeared to be fragments of a Tor M-1 missile said to have been found in a suburb southwest of Tehran. Ukraine Security Council Secretary Oleksiy Danylov said Thursday in a statement that contact with a Tor M-1 system was among the potential causes for the plane's destruction that his country was looking into.

Other potential scenarios involved a collision with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or another flying object, technical malfunction and a terrorist attack.

These are the two images in question:


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The left picture was posted yesterday at 17:50 UTC on Twitter by the Farsi and English tweeting account "Azematt".


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The second picture was posted by another Farsi and English tweeting account name "Liberalist_30" at 10:15 UTC today.

Both pictures show the navigation and steering head section of a 9k331 missile used in the Russian Tor M-1 anti-air system. (The warhead is behind the head section and explodes towards the sides of the missile. This leaves the head section intact.)

The Independent had already reported on the images and noted the problems with them:

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.
...
Elliot Higgins, the founder of Bellingcat, the digital investigation group famous for their investigation into the downing of MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, 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.

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

Even a blind chicken might find a corn. For once Higgins is right. There are certainly other pictures of used Tor missile heads available.


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There are also many Farsi/English Twitter accounts that are operated by the anti-Iranian MEK cult known for its cooperation with U.S. intelligence services. Whoever provided the pictures might have done so to falsely accuse Iran.

The Tor-M-1 (video) is a highly-mobile Russian-made system used for medium altitude anti-aircraft tasks. In 2007 Iran bought 29 Tor M-1 units from Russia. The Iranian Tor are operated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC).


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It is likely that there are Tor systems around Tehran and it is certain that they were on high alert in the hours after Iran had launched missiles towards U.S. bases in Iraq.

But there were several flights out of Tehran in the early hours of January 8. The departure of flight PS752 was delayed. It took off at 6:12 local time. The airplane climbed out of Tehran airport in a rather straight line. The teams that man the Tor systems around Tehran must be used to the regular radar track of civil planes coming out of Tehran airport. That makes an accidental launch somewhat unlikely.

As the Independent also noted:

Early theories about the cause of the crash focussed 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 sided this way, ruling out the possibility of a missile attack, before hastily removing the statement.

The Ukrainian plane had CFM 56 engines. These have in past years experienced uncontained failures. In April 2018 BBC reported:

A female passenger died after she was nearly sucked from the cabin of a Southwest Airlines flight travelling from New York to Dallas on Tuesday.
...
An initial investigation found evidence of metal fatigue where a fan blade had broken off, according to the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

A similar incident was recorded in 2016 involving a Southwest flight that landed safely in Florida.

Uncontained engine failures can damage the tanks of an airplane and can set it on fire. They can also lead to all kinds of other damage. Any plane that survives such an incident is very lucky.

It is possible that an Iranian Tor system accidentally brought down the Ukrainian plane. It is also possible that it experienced an engine failure that ruptured the full fuel tanks and set it on fire. Something else like a bird strike may have cause engine damage. There are many other possibilities. We will have to wait for more evidence and for the results of the ongoing investigation to learn what really happened.

But there is one thing that we can say for sure. Two pictures of missile heads taken at an unknown location by unknown persons at an unknown time are not sufficient evidence for any accusations against Iran.

Posted by b on January 9, 2020 at 18:49 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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I also heard that the Canadians were mostly students, children of ex-pats, who had visited Iran relatives for the holidays and were on their way back the cheapest way, via Ukraine.
There are no direct flights allowed between Canada and Iran.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Jan 9 2020 22:43 utc | 101

Canada is a vast country with many different parts, New Trumpland, Old Banderashchina etc. And, yea, Ukraine is a beautiful country with many problems. Now they had to admonish Polish ambassadors because Polish government criticizes internal matters of Ukraine, how they select their national heroes and how they celebrate them. What the gall to pick upon giant portrait of Bandera in Kiev and plans to build a new monument for that here? Especially that the plan is to place the latter near Russian border, very far from Poland.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 9 2020 22:46 utc | 102

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 9 2020 22:35 utc | 96

Zionist to the core. Not sure how it got to this but I'm sure it has something to do with the gay nature of Justine T..

A "control file" removes all obsticals of resistance.

https://home.solari.com/control-files/

Posted by: Tom_LX | Jan 9 2020 22:47 utc | 103

Justin Trudeau seems to me to be putting on a bit of a show. He's demanding 'a full and thorough enquiry' with little chance of getting it. I have to ask the Canadian posters here if many in Canada will feel any real outrage about this unfortunate incident or will it be seen as just another byproduct of geopolitics. Over to you james.

Posted by: dh | Jan 9 2020 22:56 utc | 104

Is it possible they did shoot it down? Look at all the Canadians that were on board. Everyone of them may have been a CIA agent. LOL. If they knew that... that would have been a good revenge target for them.

Posted by: gold | Jan 9 2020 22:57 utc | 105

from https://www.spectator.co.uk/2020/01/donald-trump-has-just-blown-up-his-goal-of-isolating-iran/"
Iran’s objectives are political, not military. Their aim is not to destroy any American air base, but to drive a wedge between the US and its Arab allies — and the Soleimani assassination has achieved more to this end than anything that could have been cooked up in Tehran. The Sunnis are standing down and the US and Israel now once again face being without real friends in the region. When push came to shove, all Kushner’s efforts amounted to nothing. How elated the Iranians must be ,,,"

Posted by: row | Jan 9 2020 23:06 utc | 106

https://www.transportation.gov/policy/aviation-policy/licensing/code-sharing

I am trying to establish if Ukrainian Airlines adheres to FAA-issued NOTAMS.

I quote from that page:
Before any code-shared operations can be implemented, the U.S. carrier must conduct a safety audit of its foreign carrier code-share partner to ensure that the operations meet acceptable international standards and submit the results of that audit for review by the Federal Aviation Administration.

This is the US Transportation Dept, but I am going to expand this to all airlines that want to 'code-share' -- and logically I am entitled to do that.
What, to me, this implies, is that Ukrainian Airlines indeed adheres to FAA-issued NOTAMS; otherwise it would not be able to 'code-share'.

Now, furthermore, from the FlightInternational24 (sp.?) web page I think I gleaned that the NOTAMS issued by the FAA was still in effect at 12:00 on Jan.8th.
If I am correct in this, then Ukrainian International sent an airliner on its way during a NOTAMS (in addition: during non-daylight circumstances). That imho would amount to gross negligence. This doesn't touch on the cause of the crash, but it should (if accurate) cause blowhard like Trudeau and others to question the airline first.
My comment: if it's too hot - stay out of the kitchen.

If someone can shoot holes in my analysis, go right ahead. If not, I offer it to b. and he can use it as he likes.

Posted by: bjd | Jan 9 2020 23:10 utc | 107

I don't think the west will be able to get much play out if this. In the highly unlikely scenario that it was an accidental shoot down by Iranian air defenses, then Iran can apologize and offer to pay compensation. Its behavior would then be in marked contrast to the US post IA655 and Boeing following 737 Max disasters.

My guess, however, is that Boeing has been having a serious run of bad luck and this could be the next disaster in a series. That said, the catastrophe of so many innocent people dying at once is very agonizing to all of us.

Posted by: Lysander | Jan 9 2020 23:16 utc | 108

Posted by: bjd | Jan 9 2020 22:41 utc | 100

Code-share means they swap seats with other airlines.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Jan 9 2020 22:43 utc | 101

Yes, that makes it so vile. They were Iranian expats who insisted that family is more important than politics.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 9 2020 22:46 utc | 102

Yes, Canada also has also a space for Mujaheddin-e-Khalk.

Posted by: Lysander | Jan 9 2020 23:16 utc | 108

I agree, BUT, they are using this to make Tehran airport unsafe for Western airlines. Kind of "more crippling sanctions" applied without congress.

New York Times is employing a former Bellingcat person. This type of hype will continue for a while until Bellingcat is discredited.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 9 2020 23:22 utc | 109

A post by Airbornewolf at russiadefence.net

This whole airliner crash made me remember Qantas flight 32. That A380 had some similarities.

1. A few minutes after take-off they lost control of one of their engines. It had oil leak causing the engine rev up uncontrollably until it catastrophically exploded.

2. Resulting shrapnel tore trough the cabin, it also tore trough a lot of flight control cables. Among other's, all communication systems went down, including GPS positioning and radio's. They only had one very basic VHF radio that remained.

3. The blowout compromised heavily the flight control systems, in Qantas 32 case. They lost among flaps also one hydraulic system and other engine's control systems where damaged too, resulting in loss in thrust in the remaining engines. Also the wing got perforated by the explosion and subsequent shrapnel resulting in fuel in the wing igniting. this later extinguished itself while the crew turned into an holding pattern while they where diagnosing the aircraft.

4. Even the Qantas crew did not realize what happened except for the loud bang they heard. and where working the flood of error messages in the flight computer. They learned of what happened with the engine when one of the flight attendants came up and told them the engine had disintegrated and tore trough the wing and cabin. The flight computer came up with critical messages faster as the 5 man pilot crew could work through.

5. Qantas HQ just got a burst of information of Flight 32's before it stopped completely. Reporting multiple system failures. Its similar as the abrupt failure of communications with the Iran airliner.

6. The Iranians mentioned the aircraft reported "technical problems". With Qantas Flight 32, before Engine 2 tore itself apart and send shrapnel trough the wing and cabin the instruments kept warning the engine was overheating.

So, i take this "Iran shot down an airliner" with an very big grain of salt as it has similarities with QF fight 32.

Posted by: JohninMK | Jan 9 2020 23:32 utc | 110

Posted by: dh | Jan 9 2020 22:56 utc | 104

Justin Trudeau seems to me to be putting on a bit of a show.

My thoughts as well. We know he used to teach Drama, and sure looks like he was "demonstrating" this afternoon...

Posted by: farm ecologist | Jan 9 2020 23:39 utc | 111

The video, claimed to be of the incident shows very little if nothing. The Tor missile isn't all that much bigger than a MANPAD.

Moreover what the US propaganda is spouting doesn't really help, which I suppose is the plan.

Detecting any radar emissions from a Tor near Tehran any distance from that area like for example from an AWACS, is beyond fakenews. The main output from the Tor, the "painting" signal i.e engagement radar, is a very narrow pencil beam that can't be detected by anything other than the targeted plane.

Big difference in US stance between this and MH-17.

Posted by: JohninMK | Jan 9 2020 23:43 utc | 112

It's amazing how quickly the west has figured out what happened here. Kinda reminds me of how quickly we found out that the Syrian Army was responsible for all of those gas attacks on civilians, and how we knew right away for sure that Putin poisoned the Skripals...

Posted by: farm ecologist | Jan 9 2020 23:43 utc | 113

The interception video linked in first comment looks very consistent with both the public flight track data and the residential area south west of the last position received. Video looks authentic. It is still surprising that the flight was able to turnaround and still attempt an emergency landing given the final crash zone.

That makes it two possibilities left: terrible mistake on the Iranian side or a very opportunistic terrorist false flag.

Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Jan 9 2020 23:50 utc | 114

Posted by: bjd | Jan 9 2020 21:18 utc | 63

Without evidence of happy Jews dancing on the roof I suggest the narrative is very convenient for a particular 3LA (Three Letter Agency) and probably within the capacity of Iranian MEK to pull off a small device on board as a favor.

Canada is full of Ukrainian expats. Boeing is a known substandard supplier of reliable aircraft. The passenger list is probably mostly Iranians, expat-Iranians (Canadian students?), Ukrainian nobodies (doing business?), and the odd fleeing now inconvenient contract 'Intel' agent.

The Ukraine is a known cesspit of corruption and Jewish oligarchy and a timed device could easily have been fitted anywhere in its flight from Ukraine to Tehran. The departing flight was delayed and if so then any explosion's timing (as per scheduled flight) may have better fitted the prepared narrative -- i.e., that of rogue (old crazy crap Soviet missile etc) somewhere closer to the Iraqi Base etc -- thus more plausible for Iranian shoot-down etc. [I assume computations could be done]

Canada provides a north American (but not USA) party to the event. Strong British links (same Queen) and Five-Eyes etc. The whole MSM narrative is now focused on the 737 and not on the Iranian retaliation on US bases in Iraq.

Many boxes ticked, imo.

But a final observation is also relevant. Why assume the USA is a coordinated monolith? A crazy and distracting 'draft' letter has been circulating to distract. Mistake, or by design? Personally, it is possible to see the USA as two parties -- the DoD of which the main narrative is focused; and 'other' parties. DoD did not do the assassination; scrambled around with a distracting draft letter like Keystone Cops (echo's of 9/11, keep 'em distracted with war games); and took the retaliation hit on their bases.

However, looking closer, the (so called) precision hit on 2xUSA bases appear to be targeted at said 3LA sub-sites on those bases. Ergo, this is a possible 'war between Iran and CIA' rather than Iran and DoD-USA scenario. If so, then like MH17, and possibly also the 2003 Lockerbie bombing (Pan Am Flight 103), it has all the haul-mark signatures of a 3LA sting (and pay-back, for pay-back etc). And, I suggest, that may also help explain why Trump (& others) are not presenting publicly so infuriated etc.

Imo, this little tiff and rapid public de-escalation on both sides (USA-Iran) indicates that it is better framed as tension between the US's CIA (et al) and Iran's IRGC. If so, then no nation-level regional war (WW3) scenario per se (thank goodness!): but load up on the popcorn, it will simmer 'win-win' nicely all the way to November.

Oh, and on that theme, where are the ' impeaching' Democrats now with something real they can send to the Senate? Nowhere to be seen or heard. Trump is smiling all the way home, and he doesn't have to sit there like an idiot reading kiddy books to primary school students as per boy-Bush

Posted by: imo | Jan 9 2020 23:51 utc | 115

@ Posted by: wagelaborer | Jan 9 2020 22:41 utc | 99 who wrote that it was an explosive event

I agree.

If empire had even an hours notice they could plant a bomb on an outgoing plane. And the dead are Iranians after all.

But the bigger reason is to control the narrative which they are losing regularly. Think about how Trudeau is being a proxy for Trump that has to "lay low" for a bit. Keeping narrative control of the circus crowd is top priority.

Tell me iFUKUS could not have planted a bomb in an hour, had such an idea in waiting as warmongers are wont to have, and if you can sign your name to one person's death, you can do it to hundreds of other innocents.

A civilization war about who gets to run the finance tool. Too bad we can't work out better ways as a species to resolve that issue.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 9 2020 23:53 utc | 116

Remember MH17? It served a purpose. To wipe people's minds of thinking rationally about what happened up to that point in Ukraine. Until then the dialogue had been legitimately about whether Yanukovich was legally ousted, what exactly happened in Crimea, the civil war in Donbass, the massacre in Odessa, and thinking people remembered the Maidan, the snipers and the State Department prostitutes all over the scene. Then MH17 happened and they controlled the narrative by saying Russian backed separatists..... so everyone's mind was flooded by full spectrum media releases to do with that, nobody questioned the Ukrainian government's legitimacy - it's a DISTRACTION DEVICE

Fast forward to Iran. What better way to wipe the minds of the populations from quesitoning the legalities of the Soleimani issue, the US occupation issue, than to do exactly the same thing again, get blackface Trudeau to say - "eh looks like they shot it down eh" and miraculouly regain control of the narrative in much the same way. I say Fuck Em.

Of course it was brought down on purpose. It even has a Ukrainian connection - Mossad all over this beeayaach.

Posted by: Jezabeel | Jan 9 2020 23:55 utc | 117

House Votes to Limit Trump's Power to Strike Iran Without Congress

And those wondering about little Justin T in canada. Who is pulling his string?

Why it's Chrystia Freeland, his deputy, she saw the word Ukraine Airlines and the wrath came down. Never mind the facts.

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 9 2020 23:56 utc | 118

The person who took the video at the precise moment of alleged impact should be questioned. Why was this person filming the plane at that time of night?

Secondly, who's this person brasco_Aad who tweeted that night that a U.S. fighter jet had been shot down? (By the way, the tweet was taken down that same night in case you clicked the link in my earlier post?)

Where did this brasco get the info about the fighter jet?

Now, I was made aware that Bandar Abbas is far from where the plane went down, but I just find it strange that someone writes a U.S. fighter jet was shot down and then we learn that a passenger plane crashes in Iran that same night. Still, why was someone filming that aircraft before it went up in flames at that time of night?

Posted by: Circe | Jan 9 2020 23:56 utc | 119

@peterau1 #53

Wasn't that the major issue with the mh17 investigation? Malaysia wasn't even allowed to take part! The groups that did could control the narrative.

Posted by: pleasebeleafme | Jan 9 2020 23:56 utc | 120

imo | Jan 9 2020 23:51 utc | 115

Lockerbie was December 1998.

Posted by: RJPJR | Jan 9 2020 23:58 utc | 121

Oooops!

Lockerbie was 1988 !

Sorry...

Posted by: RJPJR | Jan 9 2020 23:59 utc | 122

@86 lochearn... just don't shit on other posters like paveway and all will be fine.. cheers james

Posted by: james | Jan 10 2020 0:01 utc | 123

I'll say another thing just by watching the media reaction to the Iran jet. Israel is gunning for Iran. Not the US. Not Saudi. Israel. Because Iran keeps questioning the settler states legitimacy to which there is no legal reply except that Yaweh said that we European recent converts to Judiasm could resettle and take other people's lands in a land far far away and change our names from Meilekowski to Netanyahu so its sounds legit (That's like me going to Riyadh and changing my name to Mohammed and taking up residence in the Corwn Prince's pool room). Just like ISIS tried to exterminate history but simply bombing cultural sites (Trump's playbook too?? No way Trump and ISIS do the same thing?? No way they're both recieving logistical support from Israel??), Israel wants Iran and Iranian sentiment towards Israel to be extinguished so Jerusalem can be world capital in the future. But can you make Isn'treal into Israel? They are certainly trying to do that in our minds for the last 70 years

Posted by: Jezabeel | Jan 10 2020 0:02 utc | 124

@ Circe

Bandar Abbas is a port on the gulf. Very far.

Posted by: Alpi | Jan 10 2020 0:03 utc | 125

@105 gold.. if you read the list of who was on the plane, you would think different...

@ bjd... thanks for your posts.. it is an interesting question you raise.. i don't know the timing of that notice, but i remember it being given at some point close to the event.. might have been later in the day though...

Posted by: james | Jan 10 2020 0:04 utc | 126

US House of Representatives pass Pelosi's new War Powers resolution restricting Trump's ability to attack Iran.

Prediction:

1) the downing of the Ukraine plan will take a dark turn as the media suddenly finds Rouhani's tweet and claims that Iran WANTED to down an airliner;

2) Pelosi's WPR will get virtually no votes in the Senate, making the Pelosi and the Democrats look like fools - an impression which Pelosi & establishment Democrats has worked hard to convey with their foolishness over Russiagate and Impeachment.


EMPIRE FIRST!

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 10 2020 0:04 utc | 127

@119 circe... re brasco ... good question.. i saw it too and saw it was quickly removed as well.. same deal with the video being spread far and wide of supposed missile attack on the ukraine airlines from tehran.. that video was up shortly afterwards and the question is was MEK directly involved and it was a manpad used?? all questions that someone will have an answer for..

Posted by: james | Jan 10 2020 0:08 utc | 128

Just to play devil’s advocate...tragic accidents do happen and if it was an accidental shoot down, it makes sense that Iran would not be publicizing that fact immediately. What B is doing here with pictures and documents gathered on the internet is really no different than what Bellingcat does. His “how would the CIA know what happened in Tehran?” is pretty weak stuff as a reason for why the accident narrative doesn’t, cough, fly.

(I don’t know what happened to that plane. It’s quite possible that the western shoot down narrative is yet another psyop fiction pressed into disinformation service ...but so far the other possible explanations for what happened aren’t very satisfying or conclusive either.)

Posted by: Daniel | Jan 10 2020 0:13 utc | 129

Well since MH-17 has been revived in the discussion, I thought I would let everyone know that a new documentary about MH-17, Vasily Prozorov's "Flight MH-17: In Search of Truth" is currently doing the rounds of online alternative news media.

Prozorov states he is a former SBU security officer and in the documentary drops damning information about how British intelligence worked with the Ukrainian government and the SBU to create and bring about a distraction and then to manage and massage the general narrative direction and the drip-feed of disinformation. This management of the narrative included the creation of Bellingcat.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 10 2020 0:38 utc | 130

It looks suspicious, given that the downing of the plane was short after the missile launch against the American bases in Iraq. Amir Ali Hajizadeh said that IRCG Aerospace Force was on high alert for a counter-attack and there seems to be a potential air-defense site nearby (Marand missile site?). As for the details why a missile would be launched against a commercial aircraft, we may never know the true reasons.

Here seems to claim some more information.

Posted by: Innocent Civilian | Jan 10 2020 0:40 utc | 131

Cannot verify this video but:
https://twitter.com/IranianPatriot/status/1215389367356854280?s=07

Posted by: maxpayne | Jan 10 2020 0:43 utc | 132

If Iran did accidentally shoot that plane down I believe they would come forward with the truth within hours. They are not stupid and they know everybody would assume that is the cause, they gain nothing by lying there.

Posted by: Abe | Jan 10 2020 0:43 utc | 133

Dear B,
it's really simple, there is the the risk that the psychopathic American elite will destroy your capital city-- they have done this before in Japan. That risk is admittedly low say 1% but would result in 2 million deaths. Your radar can detect planes and distinguish them into friend or foe, a positive is a B52 with an nuclear weapon, an false positive is a civilian carrier –a Boeing (which may be spoofed by the B52). Even if the risk of hitting a Boeing is 99% and 1% the B52 – you have to fire a missile the alternative is to horrific, its 300 dead versus 2,000,000. The Iranians are in a cage fight with a crazy guy-- they have to make terrible decisions – these are done algorithmically deep is the ROC analysis, which in this case was set to – just shoot!

Posted by: cj | Jan 10 2020 0:46 utc | 134

Also, Iran is not US. There is no "popularity vote", kissing up for elections, infallibility image to protect and all bs typical for western countries. Iran is under sanctions and low intensity war for decades, deaths are every day sad occurrence. 50 people died during Qasems funeral, it is unfortunate reality of life.

Posted by: Abe | Jan 10 2020 0:48 utc | 135

It doesn't matter. Iran gets blamed by the US for *anything* that happens in the Middle East.

You got to know how that sort of thing ends. War with Iran is inevitable. It's just a question of when and how.

But this is precisely the problem. As long as Trump is a totally ignorant, buffoonish President who can be led by the nose by bogus "intelligence" from the myriad neocons and warmongers he has surrounded himself with, war with Iran is inevitable. Sooner or later, the neocons will foment a casus belli that will cause Trump to authorize a military strike of some sort against Iran itself, which Iran will have no choice but to retaliate for and which will then escalate to full-scale war.

As far as the Soleimani strike, the carefully calculated Iranian retaliation was merely to show that they have retaliated within a reasonable time frame, to satisfy the desire for revenge on the part of their electorate. The Iranians' *real* retaliation will come at a later date, probably through one of their allies to allow for "plausible deniability."

It has been argued that Iran's real goal is US being forced out of Iraq and Syria and so they will not retaliate further. This is probably not true. First, because the US is not going to leave Iraq and Syria. You can't have a war with Iran without tens and scores of thousands of US troops in Iraq - so they not only are not going anywhere, regardless of what Iraq wants, but they will be reinforced with even more forces. Therefore, when this becomes apparent to Iran, Iran will have to retaliate more forcefully for the assassination at a later date.

Secondly, even if the US does leave Iraq and Syria, thus handing Iran a success, this does not equate in Iran's eyes to the assassination of a major Iranian leader. That demands a retaliation in kind, i.e., a senior US military officer - or perhaps a senior officer of a US ally, such as Israel - must be assassinated, or at the very least some major US or US ally military asset must be destroyed.

To quote Rambo, "Nothing is over! You just don't turn it off". This alleged "de-escalation" is merely temporary.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jan 10 2020 0:49 utc | 136

Posted by: Innocent Civilian | Jan 10 2020 0:40 utc | 131

Teheran airport is nowhere near where a retaliation could have come from. It is virtually impossible to mistake a plane starting from Teheran airport moving towards Armenia and Azerbaijan as a threat. The flight list - full of expat Iranian students visiting their families during the holidays - makes an intentional hit unfeasible.

It is distraction for the stupid people.

The only reasonable possibilities I see are hit by drone, technical failure, terrorist attack. London airport was closed because of REPORTS of a drone - they never found it.

Iranians have gone full transparency now. It is quite possible that Boeing will be the ones left with egg on their face.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 10 2020 0:52 utc | 137

Trudeau is a complete disgrace, he acts like a man looking for a job south of the border. Actually he sounds like someone who has already got a job there. A mouthpiece for the Evil empire. His father, no saint, had more style, not to mention brains.
Trudeau lost the recent election and remains in power only thanks to the Quebec nationalist BQ.
His policy is to continue the ultra right wing policies of the Harper government, which, in respect to Iran were shaped by Israel and the MEK (from whom Harper receives 'speaker's fees').

Trudeau can get away with this, and employ a card carrying Ukrainian fascist as his deputy, because there is no critique of his policies from the left. The NDP, which inherited the social democratic tradition, has long since given up its opposition to zionist aggression, NATO and the United States. It stands ready, in the wings, and eager, should the BQ turn against Trudeau, to take its place and prop up the Liberals.
Meanwhile the Canadian media has come to rely on Ottawa to keep the newspapers alive and to protect the TV and radio networks from the chill winds of competition.
Anyone who pays any attention to Trudeau's speeches is wasting time, nobody in Canada does.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 10 2020 1:03 utc | 138

What part Canada might be playing in the US/Iran relations? Please. There is a history here and it was made into a movie: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1024648/

Posted by: Jonathan W | Jan 10 2020 1:04 utc | 139

Like it or not, the only way to fight the lies is to watch those spreading them on Fox, CNN and MSNBC. Of course you don't have to watch the repetition all day long but now and then you have to hold your nose and be aware of what they're up to.

But the award for lying like broken record definitely goes to Trump and his cabal.

The Iranians may have to send the black boxes to Canada or France because they may not be able to read them with damage they suffered. They better send their own personnel with them and have custody of them at all times.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 10 2020 1:04 utc | 140

Just had a thought: is it possible that the plane had a runaway engine that destroyed communications. The plane turns back towards the airport alerting a AA unit. The plane can't respond to hails or a highly automated system activated destroying the plane. Seems unlikely because of the planes flight time?

Posted by: pleasebeleafme | Jan 10 2020 1:05 utc | 141

Likklemore @ 118; Thanks for the link.

@ Jrabbit @ 127 Foolish, maybe, but still positive theater, even though, it's like pissing into the wind. They know that.

You're right, it's always "Empire First" That's where the path to riches lays....

Posted by: ben | Jan 10 2020 1:06 utc | 142

@121 -- Yes, thank you for the correction.
I was in a rush out the door and did a quick Wikipeadi to double check and obviously got the wrong page.

As such, 115 should read "1998 Lockerbie bombing (Pan Am Flight 103)"

Posted by: imo | Jan 10 2020 1:11 utc | 143

Can Iranian Bavar 373 and S 300 radar systems be spoofed? See Wiki Suter (computer program). The US and Israel use a BAE developed program to monitor and "take control" of enemy radar systems. Big Safari, a secret unit of the USAF, shared the program with Israel. Suter has been integrated into unmanned aircraft by L3 Communications. Israel used it to spoof Syrian Radar which shot down a (friendly) Russian surveillance aircraft off the coast of Syria. Iran operates both an indigenous Bavar 373 radar system and the Russian S 300 system. Don't know whether either system was hacked but if either was hacked Suter would enable the hacker to make a civilian aircraft show up as a false hostile on screen.
Note that the first spokesman off the block to claim that Iran likely shot down the 737 was the fluff brained nincompoop Trudeau. Such a nice fellow, so sincere, so pliable, so suet brained. Why not have a pretty faced dope trot out a malicious accusation rather than the gasoline brained President or the crazed bug eyed Christian Sec of State (Oh the Rapture, the Rapture!) of the greatest nation on earth.

Posted by: David F | Jan 10 2020 1:15 utc | 144


Zanon | Jan 9 2020 20:06 utc | 31
vk | Jan 9 2020 21:46 utc | 79

Man walks into a bar and people are running around with their panties in a bunch speaking in tongues about videos of planes being shot down. Not unlike a parrot repeating the words of the master.

As the video presented by 31 states the video came with no meta data. Where it was filmed, when it was filmed, who filmed it at what time of day is unknown.

The weather in Tehran today is 45 - 32 F Degrees. 47% humidity. What are the odds of seeing such heavy clouds of the videographer breathe in that weather?

I don’t know I am getting old but I failed to find a little man pointing and saying “The plane Boss. The plane”. Where is the plane?

Perhaps we should all return to the bar pull up our stools and past around the mugs. You never know your next divorce might be at the bar too. Tomorrow might bring some real evidence instead of talking heads.

Posted by: diveshopingoa | Jan 10 2020 1:16 utc | 145

@ bevin | Jan 10 2020 1:03 utc | 138

Trudeau is a complete disgrace, he acts like a man looking for a job south of the border.
_________________________________

You may be on to something, bevin! Perhaps Trudeau is being groomed as a replacement for the struggling Juan Guaidó in Venezuela.

He'd make a fine Random Guy 2.0: New! Improved! Now with governing experience, and gravitas enhanced by a cool new beard!

Posted by: Ort | Jan 10 2020 1:18 utc | 146

Another video, other side:
https://twitter.com/MFaramehr/status/1215339784392126465?s=07

Posted by: maxpayne | Jan 10 2020 1:23 utc | 147

@138 Hmmm. My impression Trudeau got elected by progressive liberals as a reaction to Harper. He seems popular with gays and multiculturalists and less popular with right wingers in Western Canada. He's anti oil pipelines, big on native rights and he legalised pot. Trump certainly doesn't like him.

Posted by: dh | Jan 10 2020 1:23 utc | 148

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-iran-usa-military-idUSKCN1TL0B0

link to what may have been that notice about that downed military aircraft just after Iran's rockets did their job I too remember the notice. that a military plane was down. and it happened I recall right after the 2nd volley of rockets .. there was an Iranian video of the launch and shortly after that, my memory recalls hearing it.. less than an 1hr.. I would say.. for what its worth.

Posted by: snake | Jan 10 2020 1:28 utc | 149

psychohistorian @116--

"But the bigger reason is to control the narrative which they are losing regularly."

I award you the prize! The plane crash is very fortuitous in that it allows BigLie Media to focus on all the dead Iranians while the real story of the genuine casualties taken by Imperial troops in Iraq gets swept under the rug. Please read my transposing of Pepe Escobar's Facebook here to understand what I mean.

Now that you've gone and read that, the outstanding question is why would Iranian military spokespeople create the grounds for enraged retaliation by contradicting Outlaw US Empire's assurances that there were no casualties. Follow-up to that: What explains Trump's very visible shaking at the presser as if he's trying very hard to hold back his ire. Last question: Who has greater credibility: The Iranian Military or the Outlaw US Empire and its BigLie Media ally?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 10 2020 1:29 utc | 150

Where is Red Ryder?

Posted by: Castellio | Jan 10 2020 1:29 utc | 151

Posted by: somebody | Jan 10 2020 0:52 utc | 137

It is certain that it was unintentional if it was brought down by a SAM. I don’t believe zilch that IRGC targets civilians. There is a nontrivial chance that it is brought down by a missile and if it is so, what matters is that the reason why a SAM is launched against it and why the radars detected a commercial aircraft as a threat.

Posted by: Innocent Civilian | Jan 10 2020 1:32 utc | 152

Another video of ukrainian plane crash:

https://twitter.com/AngeloJohnGage/status/1215417567726141443?s=07

Posted by: maxpayne | Jan 10 2020 1:32 utc | 153

Posted by: snake | Jan 10 2020 1:28 utc | 149

From June 20, 2019?

Posted by: somebody | Jan 10 2020 1:34 utc | 154

Somebody asked: Why Ukraine?
Newly elected Ukrainian president Zelensky seemed to be eager to improve relations with Russia. This was his election promise, and he won against incumbent Poroshenko with nearly 73% of the vote.
There are some people in Ukraine strongly opposing any relations with Russia.
To make good on his promise, Zelensky met with Putin (Nov 30.) in Paris. Macron and Merkel attended the meeting.
Finally, an agreement was signed in Berlin on 20 December 2019 as part of wider trilateral talks between Gazprom, Ukraine and the European Commission on Russian gas transit through Ukraine. Starting Jan 1, 2020.
So, you see: It's a gas, gas, gas...
Sorry if too long, I was astounded nobody came with this. Usually, you are faster and better informed than I am.

Posted by: scanalyse | Jan 10 2020 1:35 utc | 155

You might like to note that Ukrainian International Airlines UIA was continuing to write losses with approximately 50m USD for 2019 and therefore implemented saving measures according to the new CEO. (Wikipedia) One wonders whether those 'savings' had an impact on flight safety?

Posted by: Paul | Jan 10 2020 1:37 utc | 156

The news on this plane, baffles me. I am increasingly convinced that the 'suleimani death' was a hoax. The 'anti-bengazi'; made for propaganda by Trump. If the plane was shot down, it must have been total incompetence on the part of Iran. Any way Trump looks strong, while systematically removing US troops from the region (what he promised in his campaign). I posted a deeper analysis on this site.
https://www.baharmedia.net/2020/01/10-reasons-why-we-were-all-manipulated-by-suleimanis-death-hoax/

Posted by: ayatoilet | Jan 10 2020 1:39 utc | 157

Dear B,
I think that the Irianians actually care for their people.
Our leaders actually hate us-- we don't have bunkers, supplies or hardened medical facilities- how do we make it if everyone really went for it? Unless we own a salt mine. Who wants to chip in and save their ar(s)ses!
Trumpy almost got us killed- someone sensible told him to stop-- the Iridans were too accurate and precise -- our pindo troups would get slaughtered. All Trumpy has is nukes-- AND THAT IS SCAREY. I think we were just given a second chance.

Posted by: cj | Jan 10 2020 1:39 utc | 158

Patroklos@81

Your closing comment, almost caused me a fatal case of Ambivalence-Overload-Syndrome.
Sometimes, I am really not sure if I am about to laugh or cry until one (or the other) arrives.
The times we live in...

Peace.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Jan 10 2020 1:42 utc | 159

I've seen the video of the alleged shoot down and I have to say it convinced me that Iran shot down a civilian airplane. I mean I always film the night sky for no reason at all on the off chance something explodes in the center of my video. Just imagine how that cameraman would be kicking himself if he was off center while taking that video. Seriously, that video stinks to high heaven, either it was doctored to show the explosion - or - the cameraman was notified in advance of the disaster.

Posted by: Kadath | Jan 10 2020 2:00 utc | 160

WHO PRESSED THE BUTTON?

Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it’s enemy action.

– Auric Goldfinger

I find the evidence on social media quite convincing. It seems that two Tor M1 missiles were fired at the Ukrainian plane.

People have asked why the cameraman was filming the empty sky at 6 AM? Maybe he saw the first missile hit and started filming the second missile 30 seconds later. The cameraman may be a night guard. There is some kind of guard house at the street corner from where the video is filmed. It is also seen on the video.

The question to ask is "who pressed the button?" Unless it was pure incompetence there are two other options.

  1. US electronic warfare created fake radar targets for Iranians to shoot at.

  2. Americans had hacked into the Tor system. Maybe they took over the control link between the Tor TLAR and the command unit and were able to issue false fire commands. Or maybe they inserted some Stuxnet type malware into the system. If so, this implant may have been waiting for years to be activated.

Americans have lately been bragging about the malware that they have implanted in Russian strategic systems and the cyber attacks they are planning against Russia. There is every reason to believe they are engaged in a similar war against Iran.

Does Ukraine have Tor M1 systems? I am sure they gave all the necessary information to Americans.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jan 10 2020 2:03 utc | 161

bevin@38 re JT

I wonder what Dad would have done.

In the Nov 14, 1984 Eew York Times there is an article headlined "TRUDEAU, HAILED FOR PEACE EFFORT, DENOUNCES 'POSTURING' BY NATO" in which they quote the recently retired Pierre Elliot Trudeau's famous line re a "Pentagon pipsqueak." He also was quoted as saying that it's fine to be friendly with the US president but no need to "kowtow."

Posted by: spudski | Jan 10 2020 2:03 utc | 162

Zerohedge reports: Israel strikes Iranian militia.

Sputniknews reports:Airstrikes Target Popular Mobilization Forces Depot on Syria-Iraq Border -

SO, long overdue -
Iraq Resumes Talks With Russia on Purchase of S-300s Amid Mideast Tensions - MP

Head of the Iraqi Parliament’s Security and Defence Committee Mohammad Reza has stated that the country resumed talks with Russia on the purchase of S-300 air defence systems. According to the lawmaker, the start of negotiations occurred amid attacks on the country's Shiite Popular Mobilisation Forces.

"The issue was supposed to be solved several months ago after attacks on Shiite militia al-Ḥashd ash-Sha'bi [Popular Mobilisation Forces] bases in Baghdad and other provinces created the need for such air defences", the lawmaker said.[.]

And, Oivey, about that visa thingy and sanctions-
NTSB Says Invited By Iran to Join Investigation Into Causes of Ukraine Jet Crash

Classy move by Iran -- we have nothing to hide. No Kidding, here in b/w is NTSB statement


The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released an official statement on Thursday saying it received formal notification from Iran to join the investigation into the Ukraine Boeing 737-800 crash and designated an accredited representative to the investigation.[.]


Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 10 2020 2:04 utc | 163

I observe ZeroHedge has become an aggregator of articles posted at other websites without making corrections once source is found to be fake. The once heavy financial news reports are now minimal. I have little praise for the inarticulate comments.

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 10 2020 2:13 utc | 164

@160 kadath... the answer to your conundrum leads to the MEK manpad theory as i understand it..

i am curious if any of the airplane pundits can respond to a post that omid made on another thread?? his comment -

"But let forget all this. The fact is that if it was hit by a missile at all, it was no chance that it could start a maneuver to fly back to the airport and that’s what the Boeing 737 tried to do in our case."

anyone with any thoughts on this? thanks..

Posted by: james | Jan 10 2020 2:13 utc | 165

This missile allegation is more about excusing Boeing than about anti-Iran posturing.

One expects air crash investigations are far superior to chemical weapons investigations by the UN. Fakery will not work.

Posted by: Grizzly Lover | Jan 10 2020 2:17 utc | 166


Iran has invited the U.S. accident-investigating agency to take part in the probe of this week’s crash of a Ukrainian jetliner near Tehran.

The National Transportation Safety Board said late Thursday that it would “evaluate its level of participation in the investigation.”


https://www.yahoo.com/news/latest-eu-official-iran-avoid-112527547.html

Posted by: dh | Jan 10 2020 2:24 utc | 167

Thanx for info as I still investigating MH17
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/austria/10898385/13-planes-vanish-from-radars-over-Europe.html

I have always thought Ukraine thru spoofing (the military fighter aircraft ) onto MH17, whereby the Ukraine BULK missile was launched, was how they achieved this dastardly act. Also proceeding this, AN26 was 'faked' at 6500 meters (1) to be fired upon by hostile forces whereby NOW rebel forces can now be seen to have a NEW weapon, setting the scene for MH17. Note also after AN26 defence Minister bans all Military flights which removes them for any possible responsibility. We had no aircraft in the air (except the one Russian radars pickup which mission was to tail MH 17 and spoof it's signature onto MH17. This way the buk operators don't have to be fully on board, and can be innocent patsy's taking down a foreign/Russian fighter, Because this is what it appears innocently to them as they ( BUk operartors) knew that No Ukraine aircraft were flying (as per Ministerial/Presidential orders)
1. An26 ( Mainly troop transport/supplies plane) was a deliberate action to lay the blame 3 days (MH17) latter on the Rebels. For example as one expert pointed out to go to 6500 meters requires pressurisation which is expensive/time consuming which is NOT the usual configuration of the AN26, especially as your mission is to drop supplies.

Posted by: col from Oz | Jan 10 2020 2:33 utc | 168

@maxpayne. Txs for the videos, very interesting. I think the 1st one is the real deal. A first (engine?) explosion takes the plane down before 2 more bursts as it hits the ground..

Posted by: Lozion | Jan 10 2020 2:53 utc | 169

Didn't POTUS tell his administration to keep away from M. E. K.?
It seems that both Trump and Rouhani are in concert with the idea of an accident incident. There is just so much plausible deniability that even the cui bono logic is muddied. Only chaos benefits, and from that the continuation of hostility and war. Trump, Zelensky and Abdel Madhi are "unsecured" leaders, and Abdel Mahdi had only just resigned. From within and without they are embattled. Perhaps Americans don't recognise that the US. is already at war - with itself!
The plane takedown, if not the responsibility of Boeing or improper Ukrainian maintenance, will be subject to conspiracy theorising. So here's my 2 bob's worth: the Canadian deepstate, the M.E.K. and certain dual passport Ukrainians.
Australia and Canada are vassals of the U. K. as well as the U. S.,and M16, and its agencies provide the adjective for "perfidious" Albion. I rather think their intriguing is on par, if not co-ordinated with Mossad. Australia and Canada are the "stay behinds" of the British empire.
The M.E.K must never be underestimated. They got away with the Kurdish massacre during Saddam Hussein's tenure as Iraqi president. The blame was laid on Iran.
But what troubles me is that Rudi Giuliani has been handsomely renumerated for his endorsement of that despicable cult.

Posted by: Australian lady | Jan 10 2020 2:56 utc | 170

@Likklemore, 164

"I observe ZeroHedge has become an aggregator..."

I thot I'm the only one aware of ZeroHedge changes. Was locked onto ZeroHedge since 2011. today ZeroHedge turning into NeoLiberal and anti China? More articles and reposts from The Epoch Times, forced organs harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners and one million Uygur detentions in Xinjiang’s Camps and even diehard anti China Gordon Chang’s articles

Posted by: JC | Jan 10 2020 2:59 utc | 171

What if this was planned as a supplement to generals killing?
At that time Iran's response was not known.
Taken together it would have created negative image of Iran as a power capable of hitting small defenseless target.

Posted by: Ram | Jan 10 2020 3:00 utc | 172

@ maxpayne... ditto lozions comments.. thanks - first one is quite good and i agree with their view too..

Posted by: james | Jan 10 2020 3:04 utc | 173

Zerohedge has gained standing as if it's the Huffington Post (which has a shaky one in my book). The change has been remarkable, because over a very short period of time. I think Tyler Durden used to be a regular caller into George Galloway's Talk Radio. Look where 'he' is now -- more influential than Reuters.

Posted by: bjd | Jan 10 2020 3:46 utc | 174

Mmm...

MSM doesn't seem to be interested in why Trump canceled the scheduled address at 8:45pm as the Iranian missile attack was in progress.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 10 2020 3:47 utc | 175

@Karlof1 150

What explains Trump shaking during the presser? It was "his anger frustration." Who now has greater credibility? Iran.
I recommend a read at the two links below:

The 1st is by Tom who reads MoA. IMO, highly recommended read.
After Soleimani Killing Suddenly the U.S. is Alone

The silence is deafening. The lack of response from U.S. allies around the world to President Trump’s assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani tells you things have fundamentally changed.

Normally when something like this happens the U.S. has all of its allies lined up with statements at the ready. A gaggle of the usual suspects behind lecterns pledging support replete with the requisite hand-wringing and virtue signaling.

That didn’t happen this time. Only arm-twisting by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cajoled a few lukewarm responses from European allies stunned by Trump’s violations of International Law and escalation of hostilities.

It’s clear Trump stunned them into silence.

Because they know the world is more dangerous today than it was a week ago.

Pompeo’s whining that no one believed the White House’s ludicrous talking point that this strike was done to prevent a war rather than start one, betray epic levels of fatuousness.[.]

The strategic errors the Trump Administration has piled up over the past twenty months since abandoning the JCPOA have reached a breaking point, especially with Europe.

Europe has taken the brunt of Trump’s belligerence with Iran and Russia.[.]

More

and from the UK. (Btw, Bojo was vacationing in Mustique when this went down and he got the phone call. UK papers reported his reaction was F**K )

Donald Trump has just blown up his goal of isolating Iran


The unified Sunni Arab response to Soleimani’s killing is not what Washington envisaged

In Riyadh, there was panic. The Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, hastily sent an anti-war delegation to Washington and London. At home, his officials emphasised that the kingdom had not been consulted beforehand about the drone strike. ‘Please don’t blame us,’ was the message to Tehran. The Emirati foreign minister likewise called for restraint, warning of the devastating consequences for the Persian Gulf if war between the US and Iran were to break out.

The foreign minister of the UAE’s arch rival Qatar, home to a US air base that would be a crucial launching pad for any American war against Iran, went one step further. He visited
Tehran, met with President Hassan Rouhani and offered his condolences. ‘Qatar understands the deep pain and sadness that the Iranian people and government are enduring,’ he said.

This unified Sunni Arab response to Soleimani’s murder is hardly what Washington had envisaged. After all, from the beginning of his presidency, Donald Trump’s Middle East strategy — orchestrated by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner — was aimed at fomenting an alliance between Israel and the Sunni Gulf Arab states (particularly Saudi Arabia and the Emirates) against Shia Iran.[.]

Israel, the Emirates and Saudi Arabia had been flaunting their new intelligence co-operation and their united front against what they saw as the growing Iranian menace. They flirted with closer diplomatic and cultural ties; at one stage, the idea of an ‘Arab Nato’ was floated. Leaked documents reveal that the Saudis — like the Israelis — had previously been pushing Washington for a direct US strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.[.]

So Trump could have been forgiven for thinking the Saudis would be elated at Soleimani’s demise. Instead, they and the Emiratis waved the white flag before a single shot was fired. As per Iran’s request: its military offered a truce with Arab states that distanced themselves from America. It said Sunni cities would only be directly targeted if they assisted any US response to its air strikes against US bases in Iraq (in which case Dubai would be the first city to be ‘destroyed’). At the same time, Israel and the US were considered by Iran ‘as one’.[.]

Posted by: Likklemore | Jan 10 2020 3:53 utc | 176

Zero Hedge is a good example of the stopped clock principle. They are right on in their articles (including those which they cross post from originating sites) once for every 4 or 5 times they are posting clickbait nonsense, usually pro-GOP but occasionally anti-war.

Each item they post deserves scrutiny as it would no matter where you go. The commentariat at ZH does seem to be infested by hasbara activists, and staunchly pro-Zionist voices are often the loudest.

Posted by: Lurker in the Dark | Jan 10 2020 3:54 utc | 177

bjd@07

NOTAMS can be/are issued by each national aviation authority to carriers, operators and pilots they are responsible for registering or licensing.

KICZ A0002/20 - SECURITY..UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FLIGHT PROHIBITION AGAINST CERTAIN FLIGHTS IN THE TEHRAN FLIGHT INFORMATON REGION (FIR) (OIIX)

08 JAN 00:10 2020 UNTIL PERM. CREATED: 08 JAN 00:07 2020

The FAA issued this NOTAM, and they are only the civil aviation authority for US carriers. The NOTAM only applies to US air carriers and FAA-certified airmen/operators except those operating US registered aircraft for foreign carriers.

European and other aviation authorities consider FAA NOTAMS, but will issue their own to their carriers if there's any credible threat. There isn't.

Code-sharing requires an aviation authority - Ukraine Civil Aviation Authority in this case - to license Ukrainian Airlines under IACO rules, which they do. They don't code share with any US air carriers. It doesn't matter regarding the FAA NOTAM above anyway because UAI is a foreign carrier and has not issued a similar NOTAM to their carriers.

There is a similar FAA NOTAM prohibiting US carriers from operating in or overflying the Baghdad FIR, Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman [link]

United overflew Iraq and Iran years ago. No US carriers that I know of today do, so it's meaningless. Commercial, military and diplomatic flights to/from Iraq in support of US hegemony and oil theft are routinely exempted from these NOTAMS.

You'll notice this has had little effect on foreign carriers operating in those regions. Here's the schedule of flights from Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA/OIIE) to Dubai next week. Very few carriers/flight rerouted around these regions. This is mostly meaningless US .gov scare theatre.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 10 2020 3:55 utc | 178

Zerohedge and Huffington Post.. both somewhere between questionable and garbage...

hey paveway! your thoughts on omids comment on another thread?

"But let forget all this. The fact is that if it was hit by a missile at all, it was no chance that it could start a maneuver to fly back to the airport and that’s what the Boeing 737 tried to do in our case."

Posted by: james | Jan 10 2020 3:59 utc | 179

@ Anna 75
Hey Anna your link doesn't work.

Posted by: Ike | Jan 10 2020 4:02 utc | 180

James 179

"But let forget all this. The fact is that if it was hit by a missile at all, it was no chance that it could start a maneuver to fly back to the airport and that’s what the Boeing 737 tried to do in our case."

I don't believe that is true, plenty of fighter jets/bombers have limped back to safety after being hit by MANPADS. Many of them are heat seeking, too, which means an engine hit. Small warheads.

TOR missiles have small warheads, too. The plane being able to maneuver after being hit does not rule out a TOR missile hit.

Posted by: Jason | Jan 10 2020 4:48 utc | 181

james @179

I wonder ... if an engine is blown out, does the plane naturally turn due to drag?

Also, someone wrote that the Iranian AA was based on radar while most MANPADs are heat-seeking (targets engine exhaust).

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 10 2020 4:50 utc | 182

@ 181 jason.. thanks for taking the time to share you view on this..

@ 182 jr.. i don't know... i had heard the plane turn due to trying to avoid the suburb where it would have taken out many more people..

Posted by: james | Jan 10 2020 5:10 utc | 183

james 165
I think few have responded but a manpad warhead is small and my understanding is they will not cause destruction of a large aircraft in the air MH17 style. Manpad is plausible, as something happened shortly after takeoff well before the plane was at cruise height and speed. MANPADS need to hit an aircraft on takeoff or landing as they dont have the legs to take a passenger jet down out cruise altitude.
Perhaps one of the 52 ways Trump had of hitting back at Iran.
Been a bit in the past about Iran taking out CIA assets, but no doubt there's still a few there plus Israeli, UK, French ect assets.
I see pretty much the same MH17 crew (five-eyes) demanding an impartial investigation. Shooting down passenger jets looks to be modus operandi for five-eyes.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 10 2020 5:20 utc | 184

I would just like to reiterate my position, that any Iranian missile intercept of this plane would definitely not have been an accident. Even with a spoofed signature and launch system operator (more like a chain of them) who wakes up from a nightmare just in time to see what appears to be enemy aircraft on radar, as I've read in some comments, would identify the plane correctly as a commercial flight just having taken off based on speed, altitude and heading. This is well within Iranian airspace, certainly not the first line of defense where one might expect overreaction by operators. Additionally, the plane was one of several in the area which likewise could have been targeted or "spoofed" if anything like that occurred; imagine the effect of a dozen civilian planes "shot down by the criminally insane terrorist regime of Iran" instead of just one, if the goal was to turn the world against Iran.

Even supposing that accidentally intercepting commercial airliners is the norm of Iranian air defenses, i.e. that the accidental shoot-down theory is supremely plausible, and if Iran wanted to cover up such a mishap, I suspect they'd more likely go on the offensive and claim it as an intentional shoot-down rather than deny culpability after the fact and hope not to be implicated. It would be a cake-walk to attribute irregular behavior to the Ukrainian flight, fabricate records on the flight's refusal to follow orders or alter its flight-plan, concerns about terrorist activity targeting sensitive facilities in the area and so on. Doctored evidence of this kind, even under international scrutiny and facing disbelief from adversarial powers, would still shape the narrative around the event for years if not in perpetuity. As it stands, Iran may get saddled with the responsibility, accused of denial and cover-up in addition to military incompetence, and have to face these charges from a back-foot position.

Posted by: Skiffer | Jan 10 2020 5:21 utc | 185

this makes it easy for the Americans to explain the 1988 shoot down of the Iran Air flight away as honest accident. how convenient.

Posted by: ebolax | Jan 10 2020 5:24 utc | 186

Sorry in advance for the long post.

TOR M-1s that Iran bought from Russia (2007 or so) are a short range area-defense system. They would not have been 'on alert' in the sense people are led to believe because they are not operated as stand-alone systems.


TOR crews don't get to decide anything

A TOR crew outside Tehran would have ZERO authority on their own to target anything they thought was a threat within their TORs 15 km surveillance range. That's just not the way it works in an integrated, layered defense of fixed sites. Someone at the brigade level or above would have been operating medium-range (BUK) and long-range (S-300 or Bavar-373) sites with layered radar coverage. Someone way above the TOR crew's pay grade would have properly identified any threatening target much further away with multiple other radars and handled it appropriately.


Spoofed entire AD network with 'threat'?

Even in an unlikely, hypothetical case, I can't imagine Iran (or any AD forces) clearing a TOR as the sole responder in this scenario, especially for a target 'suddenly appearing' but moving away from Tehran and the airport. What, exactly, would have been the threat to let a point-defense unit to start blasting away?

I also can't imagine a TOR being the first/only one to detect a threatening aircraft even if it was moving directly towards Tehran. Nobody has cloaking devices, and the TOR's little engagement radar has no magical sensitivity that they could have seen anything that all the longer-range radars would have missed. The crews understand this. They're not suppose to make command decisions to destroy aircraft like they're playing a video game, and their commanders would not simply have used the closest TOR to blast an unidentified target near Tehran's airport when they had plenty of time to figure out what was going on and opportunity to blast it if it ever was identified as a threat.


TOR or AD network hacked to fire?

Remotely technically possible, but odd timing/opportunity to give up your secret hack to Iran. I can think of higher value targets to use a one-time trick like that for (if it even exists).


What about the TOR warhead/fuse/pointy-thingy?

The nose and its movable fins are the guidance unit, not a warhead. No fuse, no explosives. The warhead is behind it. As b points out, TOR guidance units have be found where TORs (the 9M331 missile) have detonated. First, Bellingcat said the picture came from the crash site. Then they said from the same neighborhood where the video guy was standing. I'm sure it was wherever MEK thought it was a good idea to toss it. If this 'incriminating' evidence was turned in to authorities, the Iranians will be able to trace it back to the unit that supposedly fired it. Of course, they could just drive out to that TOR site and look for an empty launch tube. I'm guessing they will never retrieve it because MEK doesn't want Iran to know it was last attached to, say, a Cypriot, Egyptian or Azerbaijani TOR M-1.


What about the video? Fake?

If it's real, then I would say a MANPADS. The aircraft was easily within range and engagement envelope of any modern shoulder-fired rocket (or two). Explosive residue and shrapnel will help identify the specific one. The area it would have been fired from is low, rocky hills. Easy to conceal actual launch site minus the sound, but someone would have reported it. All MANPADS solid-fuel motors are really damn loud, so anyone within a few km would have heard it launched and at least seen it after a few seconds.

Easy enough to fake a video like that though, but that's not the most damning evidence against it. I'm having problems with

1) The aircraft stopped transmitting ADS-B (the Flightradar data) too early. Whether it was a MANPADS or TOR, that doesn't explain the gap between the last ADS-B transmission and the supposed missile strike. That's not proof of anything, but it seems odd. Did the aircraft lose electrical power or radios 15 seconds before 'being hit'? Why? Other flights taking off from Tehran kept transmitting every 5-6 seconds, and ground stations 'heard' ADS-B in that area, so it's not coverage.

2) An IR-seeking MANPAD does not discriminate between engines. It goes towards the brightest IR signature it sees, which would be the closest engine. Considering the aircraft's abrupt right turn, it would have been the starboard engine that failed, not the port one on the side the missile came from.

3) The vertical stabilizer (rudder) was torn off the tail just prior to impact and found at the leading edge of the debris field. That's a really, really strong part of the aircraft. Usually you'll find the vertical stabilizer (elevator) wings still attached to the horizontal stabilizer if the aircraft comes apart. For aerodynamic forces to rip that thing off, the aircraft would have to be spinning or encountered some other catastrophic forces just prior to impact. The final tens of seconds seem to have been in a relatively straight line, but I don't know for sure. We haven't seen any radar, and no final-seconds video to see how the aircraft was reacting. The debris field was long and it appears the aircraft didn't hit in a near vertical attitude, so it was 'kind of' flying the last few seconds. That's just an odd time for the vertical stabilizer to come off first considering everything else that was disintegrating. Don't know what to make of that.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 10 2020 5:31 utc | 187

Petri Krohn

Why a tor system in particular. Iran military appear very disciplined and well trained. Only one missile was launched to take out the US drone. Very precise. Iranians have taken over US drones and landed them. They may well surpass US in electronics knowhow. How difficult is it to hack into an Iranian tor system. If its possible to hack into Iranian Russian systems, why not use a larger missile that would ensure the destruction of the aircraft.
It seems to me, that if the aircraft was hit by small tor sized missiles, it is more likely a couple of trigger men with manpads on the climb out path. The so called intelligence crap coming from five-eyes makes me think this is what happened.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 10 2020 5:39 utc | 188

col from oz @ 168
you are digging into MH17. good for you. i would suggest checking out the book by Professor Kees van der Pijl, MH17, Ukraine and the New Cold War. Sorry if you have already read it. I cannot tell you how much I respect the author. It might hold some answers to the questions you have. I feel that this whole situation is another MH17.
And it sucks that we are discussing the details and there are a bunch of dead humans. Most of them were innocents, I am sure. It really, really sucks. Death. Destruction. Hate.
Beware the beast man, for he alone is the devil's spawn...
FTW

Posted by: lex talionis | Jan 10 2020 5:58 utc | 189

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 10 2020 5:31 utc | 187

TOR or AD network hacked to fire?

Remotely technically possible, but odd timing/opportunity to give up your secret hack to Iran. I can think of higher value targets to use a one-time trick like that for (if it even exists).

This was published in June after Iran downed the US surveillance drone.

US launched cyber attack on Iranian rockets and missiles – reports - The Guardian, 23 June 2019

The US military launched a cyber-attack on Iranian weapons systems on Thursday, according to sources, as President Donald Trump backed away from plans for a more conventional strike in response to Iran’s downing of a US surveillance drone.

The hack disabled Iranian computer systems that controlled its rocket and missile launchers, two officials told the Associated Press, and were conducted with approval from Trump. A third official confirmed the broad outlines of the strike. All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak publicly about the operation.

Two of the officials said the attacks, which specifically targeted computer systems of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), had been provided as options after two oil tankers were bombed. The IRGC has been designated a foreign terrorist group by the Trump administration.

Over the past year US officials have focused on persistently engaging with adversaries in cyberspace and undertaking more offensive operations.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jan 10 2020 6:38 utc | 190

Is it just me, or does anyone else think jumping on a plane during a time where missiles and all kinds of crap are flying around seem like a bad idea? Not to take anything away from a bunch of people who died...I’m just saying... I think I would wait a day or three.

Posted by: Miguel | Jan 10 2020 6:45 utc | 191

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 10 2020 5:31 utc | 187

Re: "Remotely technically possible, but odd timing/opportunity to give up your secret hack to Iran. I can think of higher value targets to use a one-time trick like that for (if it even exists)."

I tried to post a link to an article in The Guardian from June 23, 2019 but the spam filter eat it.

US launched cyber attack on Iranian rockets and missiles – reports

If nothing else, the article debunks your argument about giving up secret hacks instead of waiting for a higher value target.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jan 10 2020 6:59 utc | 192

Petri Krohn 191

The artical and the claimed US attack on Iranian computer systems was shortly after the tankers were bombed. From the article "The hack disabled Iranian computer systems that controlled its rocket and missile launchers, two officials told the Associated Press, and were conducted with approval from Trump."
The hack if it occurred didn't work too well when Iran shot down their drone with one shot some time afterwards.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 10 2020 7:12 utc | 193

MH370 Boeing, MH17 Boeing, and now Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 Boeing. Boeing are very much a part oif five-eyes, not to metion their authority to virtually certify their aircraft themselves.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 10 2020 7:33 utc | 194

Why Shoot It Down If Flying Away From Tehran?
The Plane Would Hardly Just Make It On Th Radar Before It Was
Shoot Down?

Posted by: Joe X | Jan 10 2020 8:29 utc | 195

Petri Krohn@191 - Oh, Petri... I have to go all mad dog Google factz on you, now. Side note: Every time I hear 'debunk' I think of Bellingcat and require animal tranquilizers and a stiff drink.

debunk - expose while ridiculing; especially of pretentious or false claims and ideas

I recall the original source of the debunking article was Yahoo News, but I can't find it there anymore. The Guardian article says via AP.

Here's the title of that Washington Post article as it appears today:

National Security

Trump approved cyber-strikes against Iranian computer database used to plan attacks on oil tankers

By Ellen Nakashima
June 22, 2019 at 4:37 p.m. CDT

[link]

This is the same story the Associated Press and The Guardian reported. Why the different title? Mystery solved in first WaPo paragraph thusly:

This story has been updated to correct the target of the U.S. cyber strike on Iran. It was a computer database used to plan attacks on oil tankers, not computer systems to control rocket and missile launches.

Credit to WaPo for even noting the correction. Most MSM outlets didn't bother. The word apparently got out around Aug. 28 - 30. Some MSM simply reported it as a story in itself, without correcting their earlier articles about targeting IRCG missile control systems.

To be fair to The Guardian, they did mention it in the last paragraph of this article, Trump tweets photo of Iran rocket site and says US 'not involved' in failed launch. They don't call out their earlier 'mistake' by any means. They just report that the NYT sez...

Touché! And to be perfectly honest with you: I, myself, don't remember a damn thing about details of the original YahooNews or AP article being wrong and/or 'corrected' two months later. How did I miss that? I just stumbled over it now on Google looking up the AP source.

To your point though, I'm attempting to apply logic and reason to the strategy of the U.S. Cyber Command® when Psychopathy4Shekels™ program of the Pentagon is clearly the underlying motivation.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 10 2020 8:40 utc | 196

I see in the news canada says intelligence says the aircraft was shot down. Oz radio today was saying the same thing. Five eyes intel. Like MH17. I take it the aircraft was shot down with small surface to air missiles on take off. Five-eyes backed MEK and manpads are the most likely culprits.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 10 2020 8:43 utc | 197

I feel like I've been in a real-life Donnie Darko nightmare for the past week. Please let it end. Goodnight.

Posted by: Bill Carson | Jan 10 2020 8:51 utc | 198

@190

Nothing surprises me anymore. Right now you have lots of European professional soccer/football teams that are holding their winter training camps all over the emirates. Bayern Munich's camps is not so far away from Al Udeid Air Base, while Spanish teams are holding matches for their League Cup in Saudi Arabia. Apparently, there are no safety concerns at all. Meh

Posted by: vato | Jan 10 2020 9:05 utc | 199

james @179

I wonder ... if an engine is blown out, does the plane naturally turn due to drag?
................

Yes. Is BIG problem to lose thrust asymmetrically on takeoff.
....

Use search term> "minimum controllable airspeed engine failure on take off" and read all about it. I used duckduckgo and there's pages to learn., But it comes to, generally, an engine loss below a critical speed (which changes according to altitude, temperature, and ice) is a terminal failure, especially if pilot attempts to turn. Aircraft stalls in turn, or does a roll and lands upside down nose slightly fist...fun and games kinna thingie.

...The aircraft almost certainly blew an engine due to foreign material ingestion, stalled in turn, and self-destructed. Case closed for Walter.

Posted by: Walter | Jan 10 2020 9:06 utc | 200

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