Failures at many levels led to Iran's accidental attack on Ukrainian jetliner, say experts

People standing and analysing the fragments and remains of the Ukraine International Airlines plane Boeing 737-800 that crashed outside the Iranian capital Teheran on Jan 8, 2020.
People standing and analysing the fragments and remains of the Ukraine International Airlines plane Boeing 737-800 that crashed outside the Iranian capital Teheran on Jan 8, 2020.PHOTO: AFP/NATIONAL SECURITY AND DEFENSE COUCIL OF UKRAINE

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - Details about why Iran air defence forces mistook a Ukrainian airliner for a cruise missile remain murky, but one thing is clear: Safeguards for operating surface-to-air missiles are supposed to prevent that kind of mistaken identity and all of them failed.

The error, which killed all 176 people aboard the plane last Wednesday (Jan 8), is probably the result of multiple layers of failure, said Mr Steven Zaloga, senior analyst for missile systems at the Teal Group.

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