Iran recently admitted it shot down the Ukrainian airliner that crashed in Tehran. Here are 5 other times geopolitical tension turned deadly in the skies.

Ukraine International Airlines

Iran admitted responsibility for shooting down a Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 after it took off from Tehran, claiming it was an accident.
History of aircraft shootdowns shows a history of mistaken aircraft identity amid rising geopolitical tension.
The US accidentally shot down an Iranian commercial airliner in the 1980s, killing 290 passengers.
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Iranian authorities admitted on Saturday that Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 was shot down by one of its missiles, revising former claims of a mechanical issue. The aircraft, en route to Kyiv from Tehran, crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran Airport, with Iran claiming it had strayed too close to a Revolutionary Guard base.

Authorities blamed increasing tensions between the Islamic republic and the US in the days leading up to the shoot down as one of the main reasons for the crash. Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, placed the blame squarely on the US for the accidental discharge, citing “US adventurism.”

Tensions between the two countries escalated following the drone assassination of Qassem Soleimani, one of the country’s top generals, in Baghdad, Iraq.

It’s not the first time that geopolitical tensions contributed to accidental shootdowns, here’s a list of other times civilian airliners have been shot down by mistake.

A Cathay Pacific Airways flight from Hong Kong to Bangkok was shot down by the People’s Liberation Army of the People’s Republic of China in 1954, killing nine passengers.

The communist Chinese government believed the aircraft to be a Kuomintang military aircraft en route to attack Hainan Island, according to archived reporting from the time. China took responsibility for the accident with the country’s vice-minister for foreign sending an apology letter to the British government.

Nine survived the aircraft’s forced crash landing with the US Navy even aiding the search and rescue effort, shooting down two Chinese fighter planes in the process after they were attacked.

In one of the first shoot downs of a commercial airliner over Europe, a Lockheed Constellation of El Al Israel Airlines was downed in 1955 when it strayed into Bulgarian airspace.

The aircraft was flying home to Israel from London via Vienna and Istanbul when a navigational error sent it into Bulgarian airspace, Haaretz reported. The communist country responded with interceptors that shot down the aircraft.

All 58 souls on board were killed in the crash, with Bulgaria eventually taking responsibility and paying compensation in the amount of $8,236 per person. While El Al is seen as a top target for terrorists since the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, the shootdown was seen as accidental, with Bulgaria issuing an apology.

Korean Air Lines flight 007 was shot down by the Soviet Union in 1983 when the Boeing 747 mistakenly entered its airspace.

All 269 passengers were killed, CNN wrote, on the flight that had originated at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport en route to Seoul’s Gimpo International Airport via Anchorage. Soviet officials claimed they believed the aircraft to be an American spy …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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