Iran’s explanation for the tragic loss of Flight PS 752, the Ukrainian Boeing 737 which was shot down with 176 onboard, is seriously flawed.
The Iranian authorities have claimed that the 737 had turned toward a military base, yet it was just following a standard departure route called “Parot 3G” which requires a slight right turn after take-off.
The flight path of the previous PS752 flights almost always followed the same flight path, while aircraft leaving Tehran to the north since the fatal flight, are also using the departure route.
Here are three of those previous flights for PS 752 in the days before the fatal flight from Flightradar24:
And on the morning of the tragedy Turkish Airlines flight TK873 departed at 5.07 am – just over one hour earlier – and used the identical flight path.
Here is the flight path of TK873:
There were about five flights in the hour before the Ukraine International Airlines 737 took off.
In a statement, the nation’s armed forces said it targeted the passenger plane unintentionally. It attributed the crash to radar activity and fear of US action.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake. My thoughts and prayers go to all the mourning families,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said.
A statement Iranian armed forces headquarters said: “The aircraft came close to a sensitive IRGC military centre at an altitude and flight condition that resembled hostile targeting. Under these circumstances, the aircraft was unintentionally hit, which unfortunately resulted in the death of the many Iranian and foreign nationals.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted; “Human error at time of crisis caused by US adventurism led to disaster.”
The shooting down of PS752 is just one of many.
Since 1978 there have been 21 confirmed commercial planes hit by surface-to-air missiles, claiming 1237 lives. Adding to the misery are the six commercial flights downed by air-to-air missiles, which have taken 415 lives. Most of these fatalities have occurred in Africa, the Middle East and former Soviet Union countries.