Lest you’re not aware, 2020 started with a bang.
And no, I’m not talking about the PMD ban, though that’s what most of us care about.
Instead, it was the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani on 3 January 2020 that made NSFs and NSmen worried: are we going to fight in World War 3?
In case you’re really that ignorant, here’s what happened in point form:
- US and Iran haven’t been on good terms, and it got worse when Trump took office
- A unit in Iran’s army, Quds Force, is designated as a terrorist organization by the US due to their actions all over the world. Quds Force is like the CIA in the US but with military powers
- Quds Force’s commander is Qasem Soleimani, who is very popular in Iran
- On 3 January 2020 in the US, missiles shot from US drones killed Soleimani
- Trump’s explanation for the assassination is that Soleimani was responsible for several Americans’ deaths, and Soleimani was planning more attacks
- However, not everyone agrees with Trump’s decision, for it could worsen the already-stained relationship between the two countries
After Soleimani’s death, Trump and Iran had a war of words: Iran promised retaliation, Trump did the same thing and on 8 January 2020, Iran fired missiles at two US bases in Iraq (note: Iran and Iraq are separate countries but are close allies) but there were no reported casualties.
All is well, eh? Even Trump said that.
All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2020
But on the same day, a Ukraine International Airlines passenger plane that took off from Iran to Ukraine crashed, killing all 176 people aboard.
The plane carried 82 Iranians and 63 Canadians. The rest of the victims were from Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan, Germany, and Britain.
Iran was quick to claim that it was due to a technical problem, and as expected, the media reported it as that. After all, we cannot anyhowly say things, right?
Ukraine International Airlines did not respond although it was their first fatal crash.
Ukraine President had then said that the country’s trying to establish the circumstances of the crash and the death toll.
Well, given that it’s yet another Boeing crash, people were led to believe that it was, indeed, a technical issue and not related to the death of Soleimani.
But Canada’s Prime Minister isn’t just going to let go at that.
Canada Claimed the Airplane Was Brought Down by an Iranian Missile
Remember the list of casualties? 63 were Canadians, and it’s understandable that the government demands answers.
And they believe it’s not a mere “technical problem”
According to Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, he said on Thursday that the airplane was shot down by Iran accidentally.
His exact words: “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.”
(I also didn’t know when he had that beard.)
And of course, the US also believes in this theory.
Iran Says NO,NO,NO
Following Trudeau’s allegations, Iran responded. Iran’s civil aviation chief Ali Abedzadeh said sharply, “One thing is for certain, this airplane was not hit by a missile.”
In fact, they even invited the US (what the?!), Ukraine, Canada, and others to join the investigation.
The logic is that if it had been a missile strike, there should have been an explosion that’ll lead to more scattered debris.
Also, it makes no sense for Iran to shoot down a plane that carried so many Iranians.
However, the black box has been recovered and the conclusion would only come in today.
As you’d already know, Trudeau’s sources were right.
Iran Admits to Shooting Down Airplane Unintentionally
In a statement by the Iranian military, they admitted that the plane was shot down “unintentionally due to human error” as it was flying too close to a sensitive military site belonging to the elite Revolutionary Guards.
The military added that responsible parties would be held accountable.
According to Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, they are investigating and would prosecute those responsible.
The statement wasn’t very comprehensive, and this is a developing situation.
But it’s clear that in 2020, the US-Iran relations would be hogging the headlines.
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