Plane likely shot down in Iran by surface-to-air missile, Trudeau says

By Maura Forrest

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s received evidence from intelligence sources suggesting the plane that crashed in Iran on Wednesday, killing at least 63 Canadians, was shot down by a surface-to-air missile.

Speaking to reporters in Ottawa this afternoon, Trudeau said the incident “may well have been unintentional,” but did not rule out the possibility of a deliberate attack.

Trudeau’s comments align with reports circulating in U.S. media today that American intelligence officials believe it’s highly likely Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was shot down. He said Canada’s information comes from “multiple sources, including our allies and our own intelligence.”

“This new information reinforces the need for a thorough investigation,” Trudeau said. “Canada is working with its allies to ensure a through and credible investigation is conducted to determine the causes of this fatal crash.”

Earlier today, Iran’s civil aviation authority announced it had invited Canadian officials to join the ongoing investigation of the Ukraine Airlines crash. Trudeau did not confirm whether this is the case, saying that Iran is continuing to work with Ukrainian investigators, but added that there has been “openness to Canadian involvement.”

Trudeau would not comment on the possibility that Canadian citizens were killed as part of ongoing hostilities between the U.S. and Iran, or whether he believes U.S. President Donald Trump might bear some responsibility for the disaster, saying it’s too early to draw conclusions.

The crash happened just hours after Iran launched more than a dozen missiles at bases used by U.S. troops in Iraq, in retaliation for last week’s killing of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, authorized by Trump. U.S. and Iraqi officials have said those strikes caused no casualties.