Home International Russian-made missiles were used to target Ukraine jet – Iran

Russian-made missiles were used to target Ukraine jet – Iran

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

Iran acknowledged yesterday 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 Organisation, 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 aircraft, 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 $700 million.

However, the report said “the impact of these missiles on the accident and the analysis of this action under is under investigation”.

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 pre-dawn sky.

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 kilometres and can hit aerial targets at altitudes of up to six kilometres.

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

In other developments yesterday, 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.