A chilling video published by The New York Times offers a step-by-step walkthrough of what happened before and after a Ukrainian airliner was brought down by an Iranian missile.
The video shows what took place before, during, and after the takeoff of Ukrainian Flight 752, offering a clear picture of how the plane came down and by using a single timeline with multiple video sources and additional information.
Iranian General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commader of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ Airspace Unit, was also featured in the video admitting the “great disaster” was the result of a single person’s decision during heightened tensions, referring to a defence system operator.
“Unfortunately, because of the hasty decision of one person, this great disaster happened,” the general said.
Iranians have taken to the streets to protest what initially came as blatant denials by the government, which insisted for over two days that it was “scientifically impossible” for the plane to have been downed by a missile.
But an amateur video shot inside Iran quickly emerged after it was posted on Twitter, with western governments including Canada calling for in-depth investigation and demanding access to the crash site.
The video also confirms what Iranians had alleged early on, suggesting the plane was turning back to the airport after a fire onboard, while also showing footage of the actual missile launched at the aircraft, something Tehran had denied for three days.
Tensions in the Middle East intensified two weeks ago after a US drone strike killed an Iranian general in Iraq, prompting Tehran to fire at US targets days later.
Story updated with reference to Iranian defence system operator