Rescue workers search the wreckage of a Boeing Co. 737-800 aircraft, operated by Ukraine International Airlines, which crashed shortly after takeoff near Shahedshahr, Iran on January 8.(Photo: Bloomberg)
Rescue workers search the wreckage of a Boeing Co. 737-800 aircraft, operated by Ukraine International Airlines, which crashed shortly after takeoff near Shahedshahr, Iran on January 8.(Photo: Bloomberg)

Iran owns up to targeting Ukraine jet with Russian-made missiles

Iran acknowledged on Tuesday that its armed forces fired two Russian anti-aircraft missiles at a Ukrainian jetliner, the Boeing 737-800 that crashed after taking off from Tehran’s main airport earlier this month, killing all 176 people on board.
By Associated Press | Dubai
UPDATED ON JAN 22, 2020 02:55 PM IST

Iran acknowledged on Tuesday that its armed forces fired two Russian anti-aircraft missiles at a Ukrainian jetliner that crashed after taking off from Tehran’s main airport earlier this month, killing all 176 people on board.

The new preliminary report by Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization however stopped short of blaming the TOR-M1 for the crash of the Boeing 737-800, flown by Ukraine International Airways.

For days after the January 8 shootdown, Iran denied that it fired missiles at the plane, initially blaming a technical malfunction and engine fire for the crash.

However, after the US and Canada blamed missile fire for the crash, Iran’s armed forces said anti-aircraft fire from the country’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard had downed the flight.

The new report identified the missiles fired at the aircraft as coming from the TOR-M1. In 2017, Iran received the delivery of 29 TOR-M1 units from Russia under a contract worth an estimated USD 700 million.

However, the report said, “The impact of these missiles on the accident and the analysis of this action is under investigation.” Surveillance footage earlier obtained by The Associated Press showed two missiles were fired at the plane. The two minutes of black-and-white footage purportedly shows one missile streaking across the sky and exploding near the plane. Ten seconds later, another missile is fired. Some 20 seconds after the first explosion, another strikes near the plane. A ball of flames then falls from the sky out of frame.

The footage corresponded with AP reporting, appeared genuine and matched geographic features of the area. It also explained how so many people filmed the shoot down: the first explosion drew their attention so they turned their mobile phone cameras to the predawn sky.

The fire from the explosion, however, appears not to have reached inside the cabin, the report said, citing the condition of debris later recovered from the crash.

The Tor short-range air defense system, code-named the SA-15 by NATO, was designed during Soviet times to shoot down aircraft and precision guided weapons.

It is mounted on a tracked vehicle and carries a radar and a pack of eight missiles. Each vehicle can operate independently. Tor has a range of up to 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) and can hit aerial targets at altitudes of up to 6 kilometers (about 19,700 feet).

Tor missiles explode near their target, taking it down with shrapnel that devastates engines, fuel tanks and other vital components.

Iranian officials have offered contradictory remarks on whether they’ll send the plane’s flight data and cockpit voice recorders abroad to be analyzed. The preliminary report by the Civil Aviation Organization said Iranian officials had asked French and American authorities to send them “up-to-date equipment” to pull the data in Iran.

In other developments on Tuesday, South Korea Defense Ministry announced its anti-piracy unit operating in the Gulf of Aden was temporarily expanding its mission to the Strait of Hormuz. A ministry statement said the decision was meant to help ensure the safe passage of South Korean vessels and nationals through the waterway. It said the unit’s expanded operation will include the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf.

The ministry said the unit will conduct an independent operation but will cooperate with a US-led coalition if necessary. Already, a US-led operation is doing surveillance of the strait, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which 20 per cent of all the world’s oil passes. A French-led naval coalition is also being created.

The missions began after mysterious explosions last summer targeted oil tankers near the strait, attacks the US blamed on Iran. Tehran denied being involved, though it did seize tankers amid wider tensions with the West over its unravelling nuclear deal with world powers.

Meanwhile, a little-known Iranian lawmaker was quoted as offering a “USD 3 million cash prize for anybody that would kill (President Donald) Trump”, apparently in retaliation for the US’ targeted killing of top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq earlier this month. It wasn’t clear where Ahmad Hamzeh, a lawmaker for the town of Kahnouj in Kerman province, believed the money would come from, though he implied the province would offer the cash.

Later on Tuesday, the Iranian government announced it was establishing a Soleimani Prize to be awarded on an international level, the official IRNA news agency reported without elaborating.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
U.S. President Joe Biden in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, US, on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. Biden revoked a proclamation from his predecessor that blocked many green card applicants from entering US.(Bloomberg)
U.S. President Joe Biden in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, US, on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. Biden revoked a proclamation from his predecessor that blocked many green card applicants from entering US.(Bloomberg)

Undocumented immigrants should be vaccinated without ICE fear: Biden

ANI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:37 PM IST
"I want to make sure they are able to get vaccinated and so they are protected from Covid without the ICE or anyone interfering," The Hill quoted Biden as saying during an interview with Univision.
Close
Myanmar Ambassador to the United Nations Kyaw Moe Tun flashes the three-fingered salute, a gesture of defiance done by anti-coup protesters in Myanmar.(AP)
Myanmar Ambassador to the United Nations Kyaw Moe Tun flashes the three-fingered salute, a gesture of defiance done by anti-coup protesters in Myanmar.(AP)

Myanmar ambassador to UN fired after he urged to reverse military coup: Report

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:24 PM IST
Kyaw Moe Tun had told the UN General Assembly he was speaking on behalf of the ousted civilian government of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Close
Sri Lankan health workers carry a coffin carrying remains of a COVID -19 victim to a cremation furnace in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)(AP)
Sri Lankan health workers carry a coffin carrying remains of a COVID -19 victim to a cremation furnace in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)(AP)

Sri Lanka's end to forced cremations of Covid-19 dead on hold: official

PTI, Colombo
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:20 PM IST
"This will take some time as guidelines on many aspects need to be determined and issued," said the top health official Asela Gunawardena.
Close
Activists march and shout slogans during a demonstration in Dhaka on February 27, 2021 following the death of writer Mushtaq Ahmed in jail months after his arrest under internet laws which critics say are used to muzzle dissent.(AFP)
Activists march and shout slogans during a demonstration in Dhaka on February 27, 2021 following the death of writer Mushtaq Ahmed in jail months after his arrest under internet laws which critics say are used to muzzle dissent.(AFP)

Bangladeshi writer, detained over anti-govt social media posts, dies in jail

ANI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:17 PM IST
According to The New York Times (NYT), Ahmed's death inside prison is raising alarms about the country's crackdown on dissent.
Close
An Iranian protester holds the picture of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as she attends an anti U.S. demonstration in Tehran, Iran,(Reuters)
An Iranian protester holds the picture of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as she attends an anti U.S. demonstration in Tehran, Iran,(Reuters)

Internet disruption reported in southeast Iran amid unrest

AP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 07:59 PM IST
Several rights groups reported in a joint statement that authorities shut down the mobile data network in the restive provinces of Sistan and Baluchistan, calling the disruptions an apparent “tool to conceal” the government’s harsh crackdown on protests convulsing the area.
Close
Used Covid-19 vaccination syringes used to administer the Pfizer vaccine are shown in a container.(AP)
Used Covid-19 vaccination syringes used to administer the Pfizer vaccine are shown in a container.(AP)

Plunging Covid-19 test demand may leave US with supply glut

AP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 07:58 PM IST
More than 180 government-supported sites are operating at only a third of their capacity. “It’s shocking how quickly we’ve gone from moving at 100 miles an hour to about 25,” said Dr. Clemens Hong, who leads the county’s testing operation.
Close
The UN logo at the United Nations headquarters in New York. (HT archive)
The UN logo at the United Nations headquarters in New York. (HT archive)

New climate pledges 'far short' of meeting Paris Agreement goals: UN

ANI
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 07:53 PM IST
The UN Chief stated that now is the time the global coalition committed to net-zero emissions by 2050 is growing, across governments, businesses, investors, cities, regions and civil society.
Close
A medical specialist holds a vial of Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus in a department store in Moscow, Russia,(Reuters)
A medical specialist holds a vial of Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus in a department store in Moscow, Russia,(Reuters)

Russian scientists say Sputnik V performs well against Covid mutations

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 07:31 PM IST
Last month President Vladimir Putin ordered a review by March 15 of Russian-produced vaccines for their effectiveness against new variants spreading in different parts of the world.
Close
Prosecutors have brought charges against more than 250 people so far in the attack, including conspiracy, assault, civil disorder and obstruction of an official proceeding (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)(AP)
Prosecutors have brought charges against more than 250 people so far in the attack, including conspiracy, assault, civil disorder and obstruction of an official proceeding (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)(AP)

Capitol rioters tell court Donald Trump 'summoned' them to instigate Jan 6 riots

AP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 07:22 PM IST
  • While experts say blaming Trump may not get their clients off the hook, it may help at sentencing when they ask the judge for leniency.
Close
EAM Jaishankar had said that India has been "very much" at the forefront of the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and is providing vaccines to the world under 'Vaccine Maitri' initiatives.(Samir Jana/HT File)
EAM Jaishankar had said that India has been "very much" at the forefront of the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and is providing vaccines to the world under 'Vaccine Maitri' initiatives.(Samir Jana/HT File)

Iran expects 250,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine from China

AP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 07:04 PM IST
Alireza Raisi, deputy health minister, says the country will receive doses of other vaccines, including from India, in the “near future” as the country struggles to fight the worst outbreak of the pandemic in the Middle East.
Close
People with income above the threshold will receive smaller payouts.(REUTERS)
People with income above the threshold will receive smaller payouts.(REUTERS)

US Covid relief plan: Here’s who could be eligible for $1,400 direct payments

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Kunal Gaurav, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 06:54 PM IST
  • The other key elements of the bill include unemployment benefits until the end of August and monthly benefits to parents of children under the age of 18.
Close
Archeologists uncover an ancient ceremonial carriage in a dig near the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, destroyed in 79 AD in volcanic eruption, Italy,(Reuters)
Archeologists uncover an ancient ceremonial carriage in a dig near the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, destroyed in 79 AD in volcanic eruption, Italy,(Reuters)

Archaeologists uncover ancient ceremonial carriage near Pompeii

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 06:52 PM IST
Pompeii, 23 km (14 miles) southeast of Naples, was home to about 13,000 people when it was buried under ash, pumice pebbles and dust as it endured the force of an eruption equivalent to many atomic bombs.
Close
People wearing protective masks walk along Via dei Condotti street , in Rome, Italy.(Reuters)
People wearing protective masks walk along Via dei Condotti street , in Rome, Italy.(Reuters)

Italy tightens Covid-19 curbs in several regions as cases pick up

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 06:50 PM IST
Italy has established a four-tier colour-coded system (white, yellow, orange and red) which allows for measures to be calibrated according to infection levels, with assessments revised every week.
Close
The major legislative priority for the Biden administration comes days after the coronavirus toll in the US crossed the 500,000 mark.(AP)
The major legislative priority for the Biden administration comes days after the coronavirus toll in the US crossed the 500,000 mark.(AP)

What is Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill passed by the US House

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Deepali Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 06:43 PM IST
The bill will come into force after the approval in the Senate and the US President Joe Biden's signature on it.
Close
Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny.(Reuters)
Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny.(Reuters)

Putin critic Navalny transferred from a Moscow detention centre

ANI, Moscow
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 06:43 PM IST
Navalny remains behind bars after a Russian court partially rejected his appeal over a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence handed down earlier this month.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP