One of the more horrific incidents that accompany the threat display Iran made against the United States military by firing missiles into bases in Iraq where American troops were deployed was the crash of a Ukrainian airliner at the Tehran airport. All 176 passengers and crew aboard the Boeing 727 perished. They included 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, and three British citizens. At first, the official story coming out of Iran was that the airliner crashed due to mechanical problems. Then a more sinister explanation came to light, as USA Today Explains.
“The Ukrainian jet that crashed this week after taking off from Tehran appears to have been downed by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.
“Intelligence indicates the Iranian military accidentally shot down the Ukrainian airliner with a Russian-supplied anti-aircraft missile, according to a U.S. official who was not authorized to speak publicly. All 176 aboard the Boeing 737 were killed.”
The fault appears to have been with trigger happy Iranians, thinking that the airliner was part of an American retaliation raid in the wake of the missile attack.
“U.S. intelligence sensors showed Iranian air-defense radar locked onto the passenger plane, the official said. Iran’s military then launched two SA-15 surface-to-air missiles and brought the plane down in a fiery crash.”
Iran has refused to hand over the airliner’s black box and is bulldozing the crash site in an apparent attempt to remove all evidence of the shootdown. The official line coming from the Iranian government is that the story that it shot down the plane by accident is an “illogical rumor.”
Meanwhile, presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is pretty sure that President Donald Trump is to blame for the destruction of the Ukrainian airliner and all who were inside it. The inference is that had Trump not executed the Iranian terrorist mastermind Gassim Soleimani, Iran would have not been obliged to have launched the missile barrage, and hence some nervous Iranian missile controller would not have fired on the airliner.
Buttigieg tweeted. “Innocent civilians are now dead because they were caught in the middle of an unnecessary and unwanted military tit for tat, My thoughts are with the families and loved ones of all 176 souls lost aboard this flight.”
Needless to say, Buttigieg’s statement is not sitting well with most people. Fox News explains that social media has erupted with fury.
Sen Ted Cruz, for example, tweeted, “Uh, Pete, they weren’t “caught in the middle.” They were shot down BY IRAN. Military incompetence by the leading state sponsor of terrorism. Just because Dems hate Trump doesn’t justify false equivalence w/ Iran. Soleimani was a brutal terrorist who killed hundreds of Americans.”
David French, of the Dispatch, a Never Trump media outlet, added, “Nope. Nope. Nope. Iran launched a missile strike against our troops and then blundered by shooting down a civilian airliner when it wasn’t even under attack. That’s the story. This is on Iran.”
Hot Air notes that Iranian denials aside, a video shows the moment that the Russian made missiles struck the airliner. Even so, Buttigieg’s view on the tragedy is being echoed by some in the media. Both seem to be reacting out of pure Trump hatred and the desire to score points against the president, according to the article.
The Hot Air article also raises some questions as to why the Ukrainian jet was even allowed to take off in the middle of a military crisis.
“Why was Tehran’s airport open on a night when they knew they were planning to fire missiles at American forces? The answer, seemingly, is that they didn’t want to forfeit the element of surprise by grounding flights ahead of an attack, never mind that there wasn’t much element of surprise regardless. But then, having assumed that risk, they somehow neglected to account for the presence of passenger flights overhead in operating their missile defense system. This wasn’t just a one-sided ‘crossfire,’ it was an example of Iran not knowing how to use its own ‘gun.’”
The article concludes by noting that Sen Ted Cruz has introduced a resolution congratulating the military and intelligence men and women who participated in the takedown of Someilani. The move is seen as clever in that it places Democrats in the position of either voting for the measure or maintaining their blame America first position.