US officials: ‘Highly likely’ Iran downed Ukrainian jetliner

International

Rescue workers recover the bodies of victims of a Ukrainian plane crash in Shahedshahr, southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. A Ukrainian airplane carrying over 170 people crashed on Wednesday shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s main airport, killing all onboard. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Two U.S. officials say it was “highly likely” that an Iranian anti-aircraft missile downed a Ukrainian jetliner late Tuesday, killing all 176 people on board.

President Donald Trump is suggesting he believes Iran was responsible. He is dismissing Iranian claims that it was a mechanical issue that brought down the plane -and is denying any U.S. responsibility. The officials, citing U.S. intelligence, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information.

The crash came just a few hours after Iran launched a ballistic missile attack against Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops amid a confrontation with Washington over a U.S. drone strike that killed an Iranian Revolutionary Guard general.

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