Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says intelligence now indicates the Ukrainian passenger aircraft that crashed outside of Tehran on Wednesday, killing everyone on board — including 138 people destined for Canada — was shot down by an Iranian missile.
“We have intelligence from multiple sources, including our allies and our own intelligence. The evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile,” he said during a news conference in Ottawa, adding that it might have been an unintentional act.
“The news will undoubtedly come as a further shock to the families who are already grieving in the face of this unspeakable tragedy.”
Of the 176 victims killed, 63 were Canadian citizens and included entire families, academics, students and newlyweds.
Trudeau said intelligence and evidence started coming in overnight suggesting the aircraft likely was brought down by a surface-to-air strike, but wouldn’t offer further details.
The prime minister’s comments came after reports out of the U.S. said it’s “highly likely” that an Iranian anti-aircraft missile inadvertently brought down Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752.
When asked if the U.S. air strike was in part to blame for the crash, Trudeau said only that Canada needs a thorough investigation.
“The evidence suggests that this is the likely cause but we need to have a full and complete and credible investigation to establish exactly what happened. That’s what we are calling for and that’s what we’re expecting will happen,” he said.