US officials, according to Newsweek and CBS News, believe that Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile.
Pentagon officials told Newsweek that the plane was probably shot down by accident, as Iran's surface-to-air missile systems were likely active at the time of the crash.
The incident occurred shortly after Iran fired a barrage of ballistic missiles at US and coalition forces in Iraq in response to a US drone strike that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.
Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 was hit by fire from a Russian-built Tor M-1 surface-to-air missile system, two Pentagon officials and an Iraqi intelligence official told Newsweek.
The unnamed Department of Defense officials told the outlet that the incident is believed to have been an accident, as anti-aircraft systems were likely active at the time of the suspected shoot down.
The plane crashed outside of the Iranian capital of Tehran on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board, shortly after Iranian forces launched a barrage of missiles at US and coalition forces in Iraq in response to a US drone strike that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani last week.
CBS News reports that US officials are confident that Iran shot down Flight 752, explaining that US intelligence detected anti-aircraft radars turning on. Satellites detected two blips, suspected missile launches, that were followed by another blip, the aircraft explosion.
Oleksiy Danylov, the secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, wrote on Facebook Thursday that Ukrainian investigators are considering a number of possibilities, including that the plane may have been shot down.
Images have been circulating on social media showing apparent fragments of a Tor M-1 missile said to have been found outside of Tehran.
Other possibilities Ukrainian investigators are looking at include an engine explosion due to a technical malfunction, a terrorist attack, or a collision with an unmanned aerial vehicle.