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Canadian PM Justin Trudeau says Iranian missile shot down Ukrainian jetliner

Posted at 9:16 AM, Jan 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-09 16:24:07-05

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in an address Thursday that intelligence from "multiple sources" indicates that the Ukrainian jetliner that crashed on Tuesday was shot down by an Iranian surface to air missile.

Trudeau said the intelligence was confirmed by both Canada "and its allies." He added that the incident "may have been unintentional."

Trudeau's address came hours after two U.S. officials said it was “highly likely” that an Iranian anti-aircraft missile downed the Ukrainian plane, killing all 176 people on board. At least 63 of those victims were Canadian citizens.

“On behalf of all Canadians, I want to express my deepest condolences to those who are mourning the loss of a loved one,” said Trudeau. “Your loss is indescribable, and this is a heartbreaking tragedy.”

When asked if he thought the United States was at least partially responsible for the deaths of Canadians on board the plane, Trudeau said it was "too early to draw conclusions."

In the coming days, Trudeau says his government will continue to work closely with its partners to ensure that the crash is thoroughly investigated.

“Canadians have questions and they deserve answers,” said Trudeau.

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 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.