On Wednesday, January 8th, Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752 was shot down after taking off from Tehran International Airport. Many lives were lost in this tragedy with the total amount of casualties being 176. The Iranian government has admitted to shooting the plane down, but claims that it was unintentional. This horrific event happened after the United States assassinated General Qasem Soleimani. After US President Donald Trump was announced the assassination, US military bases in Iraq were attacked by Iran in retaliation. Shortly after the attack, Iran responded to what was done, stating that the country does not “seek escalation or war”. Several hours after the bases were struck, Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752 was shot down. This chain of events lead to many questions, and rose suspicion.
With tensions rising between the US and Iran, it was unsure on whether or not this attack on flight 752 was purposeful or not. Footage of the tragedy, showed that it was certainly the Iranian government that commenced the attack. The United States intelligence also suggests that Iran was responsible for what happened to the aircraft. This intelligence was shared via the “Five Eyes Alliance”, which consists of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.
Many lives were lost in a tragic attack. One, Omidar Salani, lost his sister, brother-in-law, and 16-month-old niece. “It’s very hard to cope with it, especially at the beginning hours. Nothing makes sense, nothing — and there’s no answers and there’s no way of getting over it” he said. Omidar is just one of many family members of the 176 victims on the flight.
Of the 176 passengers on the plane, 57 of them were Canadian citizens. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that 138 people on the flight were headed to Canada: home to a large Iranian population with around 210,000 Canadian citizens are of Iranian descent. The University of Alberta lost faculty members and students in the crash, and a memorial was held in their honor. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Jason Kenney attended a memorial held in Edmonton. Trudeau said that “Iran must take full responsibility”.
Revolutionary Guard Commander of Iran, Hossein Salami said that he “has never been more ashamed” in his entire life. He added, “I wish I were in that plane and had crashed with them and had burned, but had not witnessed this tragic incident”. Salami also added that the attacks on the bases in Iraq were not intended to kill anyone, the attacks were to prove that Iran was more powerful in relation to the US military.