Editor's Brief

Unmitigated Horror

TEHRAN, Jan. 8, 2020 -- Rescuers work at the air crash site of a Boeing 737 Ukrainian passenger plane in Parand district, southern Tehran, Iran, on Jan. 8, 2020. All the passengers and crew members on board the Boeing 737 Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed near Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport on Wednesday morning are confirmed dead, official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. (Photo by Ahmad Halabisaz/Xinhua via Getty)
TEHRAN, Jan. 8, 2020 -- Rescuers work at the air crash site of a Boeing 737 Ukrainian passenger plane in Parand district, southern Tehran, Iran, on Jan. 8, 2020. All the passengers and crew members on board the Boein... TEHRAN, Jan. 8, 2020 -- Rescuers work at the air crash site of a Boeing 737 Ukrainian passenger plane in Parand district, southern Tehran, Iran, on Jan. 8, 2020. All the passengers and crew members on board the Boeing 737 Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed near Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport on Wednesday morning are confirmed dead, official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. (Photo by Ahmad Halabisaz/Xinhua via Getty) (Xinhua/Ahmad Halabisaz via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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January 9, 2020 3:46 p.m.

It now seems very clear that that Ukrainian airliner that crashed after takeoff from Tehran was accidentally shot down by the Iranian military, almost certainly on some kind of hair trigger alert awaiting possible US retaliation after the volley of missiles which were retaliation for the assassination of Qassem Soleimani.

This was pretty clear on the basis of logic and probability. Even as aerophobe, I know that airliner crashes are extremely, extremely rare. In those rare instances, they seldom fall out of the sky on fire as this one did. The fact that this happened basically at the exact moment when the Iranians would have been awaiting US retaliation from the air in response to their missile attack makes the probabilities pretty clear.

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