Iran makes arrests over accidental downing of Ukrainian airliner: Updated

...with explosive, if highly dubious 2-missile strikes on the Ukrainian passenger liner videos, courtesy of RantingRooster.

Via, Jan. 14, 2020:

“Arrests have been made in connection with the shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger plane near Tehran, Iran’s judiciary has announced, following President Hassan Rouhani’s call for a special probe into the deadly accident.

Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili told Iranian state media on Tuesday that individuals had been detained as part of “extensive investigations” into the incident. He did not disclose how many people had been arrested.

Earlier, Rouhani said in a speech that a special court should be established to try the case. He noted that “the entire the world will be watching this court” and vowed that responsible parties would be brought to justice.

Iran’s president also called the Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) admission that it shot down the plane a “first good step” towards ensuring the matter is properly dealt with.” [snip]

“Iran’s military claims that it never sought to cover up its mistake and had immediately informed authorities about the incident, but that this information was withheld from the public pending further investigation into the matter.”

Most corporate news sites reference FARS News for the announcement, but their English version sure doesn’t have it.  The above site has the least inflammatory coverage I’ve seen; most not only indict “Iran” for not coming clean immediately, and blame Iran having admitting to the truth of having shot down the jet given “huge demonstrations within Iran calling for the ouster of the Dictator!”, as well as ‘enormous international pressure.  One case in point here, and another here re: Australia.

Berlin, London and Paris threaten Iran over 2015 nuclear treaty’, Alex Lantier, 14 January 2020  He opens with:

“After the US assassination in Baghdad of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani, Berlin, London and Paris issued a fraudulent joint letter Sunday, denouncing Iran as a threat to peace and demanding it respect the 2015 nuclear treaty Washington repudiated in 2018.

The statement, reeking of hypocrisy, serves as a warning amid the danger of all-out war in the Middle East. One cannot halt the spiral of imperialist demands, threats, provocations and murder by appealing to the conscience of capitalist governments like Washington’s European allies. Anti-war sentiment in the working class, rising hand in hand with growing strikes and social protests against austerity and police repression, must take a politically independent form.

In their letter, the European powers pass over in total silence the extrajudicial murder of Suleimani in gross violation of international law, mass protests in the Middle East against his killing and the three decades of US-European wars in the Middle East since the 1991 Gulf War in Iraq. These wars killed or wounded millions and turned tens of millions into refugees.

Instead, they denounce Iran for “destabilising” the Middle East. They write, “Recent events have highlighted Iran’s destabilising role in the region, including through the IRGC and Al-Qods force. Our commitment to the security of our allies and partners in the region is unwavering. We must address—through diplomacy and in a meaningful way—shared concerns about Iran’s destabilising regional activities, including those linked to its missile programme.”

But what they don’t cover in Rouhani’s call to the judiciary:

‘Rouhani: Judiciary should form special court to investigate plane crash’, January 14, 2020

“In a press conference on Monday, government spokesman Ali Rabiei acknowledged that the country’s defective cycle of information was the cause of misinforming people about the cause of the plane crash, expressing official apology for the shortcoming.

The downing happened a few hours after Iran fired dozens of missiles at a U.S. airbase inside Iraq in retaliation to the assassination of Iranian Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on January 3. According to IRGC Aerospace Force Commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the operator at the airbase had mistaken the plane for an attacking cruise missile.” [snip]

Rabiei criticized the defective cycle of information, saying, “In fact, the government itself is wrapped in a defective cycle of providing and receiving information.”

“Some people are criticizing that why the government did not conduct more studies before announcing its stance, but, we sent several inquiries to the relevant officials before releasing our view and the entire relevant officials, based on their information at the time, told us that there were no any missile fire,” Rabiei explained.

“Hereby, we apologize to the dear Iranian nation, public opinion and journalists,” he added.

Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), said on Sunday that Iran had no intention to hide causes of the plane crash.

“From the beginning of the crash, we had no intention to hide its causes,” he said during a memorial service for two victims of the crash.

It took time to announce the causes due to necessity to investigate all hypotheses, especially “possible actions of the enemies in jamming”, “hack of the systems” and “the issue of infiltration”, explained Shamkhani who served as defense minister in the Khatami administration from 1997 to 2005. [snip]

“Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi on Monday vowed to fully observe justice in probing the plane crash case.

“In pursuing the case of the downed plane, justice will be implemented irrespective of any circumstances,” Raisi said, Tasnim reported.” [snip]

“Major General Hossein Salami, chief of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), said on Sunday that he wished he was on the downed plane so he could avoid the shame of making such a colossal mistake.”

We’ll sure be wondering what they’ve discovered, or will discover as far as the bolded text, won’t we?  What will further investigations of the arrestees find?

From the Twittersphere:

To the leaders of Iran - DO NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTERS. Thousands have already been killed or imprisoned by you, and the World is watching. More importantly, the USA is watching. Turn your internet back on and let reporters roam free! Stop the killing of your great Iranian people!

@SecPompeo 17h17 hours ago
We don’t know how the Iranian regime will react as we continue to re-build deterrence. We hope they’ll make the right choice and return to the negotiating table. We hope they share our desire for peace. But no matter what, we will put the security of the American people first.

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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ggersh's picture

After Days of Claiming Soleimani Posed "Imminent" Threat to US, Trump Finally Declares "It Doesn't Really Matter"

"If this is the case, then nothing matters."

The Fake News Media and their Democrat Partners are working hard to determine whether or not the future attack by terrorist Soleimani was “imminent” or not, & was my team in agreement. The answer to both is a strong YES., but it doesn’t really matter because of his horrible past!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2020

"In one tweet, Trump is blowing apart his administration's rationale for killing Soleimani," tweeted Washington Post national intelligence reporter Shane Harris.

Trump and Congress Double Down on Demonizing Iran
Will the national security nightmare ever end?

If one seriously seeks to understand how delusional policymakers in Washington are it is only necessary to examine the responses by the president and Congress to the assassination of Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani. The first response came in the form of a Donald Trump largely incoherent nine-minute self-applauding speech explaining what he had done and why. It was followed by a House of Representatives War Powers non-binding resolution that was all theater and did nothing to limit the president’s unilateral ability to go to war with the Islamic Republic.

It was reported that the Trump speech had been hurriedly written by aides the night before it was given and that it existed in several competing drafts. It was full of out-and-out lies and half truths and intended to reassure the American people that the president was keeping them safe. The opening line might well be regarded as some kind of joke: “As long as I am President of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.” Trump has in fact done more to ensure that Iran will have a nuclear weapon than any other president through his abrupt withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) and his assassination of Soleimani, which together have convinced the Iranian leadership that there is no possibility of a reasonable negotiated solution when dealing with the American president, even when he claims he wants to “talk.”

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“Those who choose the lesser evil forget very quickly that they chose evil.”
— Hannah Arendt

wendy davis's picture


from your common dreams link:

"Secretary of State Mike Pompeo openly mocked reports from Iraq's prime minister that Soleimani was in Baghdad at the time of his killing to discuss easing tensions with Saudi Arabia.

i'd seen the mafia diplomat tweet that; ugh. no lie is too big!

A recent USA Today/Ipsos poll found that 52% of respondents view the killing of Soleimani as "reckless."

wow; how white of them. did the pollster ask if they considered it an international crime of the first order?

as to the NBC link, it comports with a lot of what andredamon at wsws said the NY/CIA times had reported the other day, save for a Key Figure:

The assassination of Qassem Suleimani and the criminalization of US state policy, jan. 13

On Sunday, the New York Times published a detailed account, based on high-level sources within the US government, of the Trump administration’s decision to murder Iranian Gen. Qassem Suleimani on January 3, 2020.

The Times report makes clear that, far from being a spur-of-the-minute decision by Trump, the murder of Suleimani had broad support within the executive branch and the intelligence agencies, which had planned this crime for the past 18 months. The account implicates former National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and CIA Director Gina Haspel in advocating and plotting the murder.

The Times report presents a picture of a criminal state, in which the most flagrant violations of the law are treated as routine. It is a testament to the degree to which US foreign policy has been criminalized after nearly two decades of the “war on terror.”

This normalization of illegality extends to the press. The tone of the Times report is that of an adventure story. There is not a hint of a critical attitude toward the flagrantly criminal character of the actions it describes. The word "legal," or any variant of it, simply does not appear in the body of the text.

The article makes clear that the Trump administration’s motives for murdering Suleimani had nothing to do with a supposedly “imminent” threat, as claimed by White House officials. Rather, the United States wanted to retaliate against Suleimani for a series of US policy setbacks for which the American state held him responsible.

The Times writes:

By the end of 2019, General Suleimani could boast of a number of Iranian accomplishments: [Syrian President] Mr. Assad, a longtime Iranian ally, was safely in power in Damascus, Syria’s capital, prevailing in a bloody, multifront, years long civil war and the Quds Force had a permanent presence on Israel’s frontier. A number of militias General Suleimani had helped foster were receiving salaries from the Iraqi government and exerting power in Iraq’s political system.

The Times continues, “For the past 18 months, officials said, there had been discussions about whether to target General Suleimani.”

It states:

By the time tensions with Iran spiked in May with attacks on four oil tankers, John R. Bolton, then the president’s national security adviser, asked the military and intelligence agencies to produce new options to deter Iranian aggression. Among those presented to Mr. Bolton was killing General Suleimani and other leaders of the Revolutionary Guards. At that point, work to track General Suleimani’s travels grew more intense.

By September, the United States Central Command and Joint Special Operations Command were brought into the process to plan a possible operation.

Just days before he was killed, Suleimani met with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon. Nasrallah warned him, according to the Times, “that the American news media was focusing on him and publishing his photograph.” The newspaper quotes Nasrallah as saying, “This was media and political preparation for his assassination.”

In the days leading up to the strike, CIA Director Gina Haspel advocated for the murder, according to the Times, arguing that “the consequences of not striking General Suleimani were more dangerous than waiting.” Haspel presided over a CIA “black site” torture facility under George W. Bush and was implicated in the destruction of CIA tapes of detainees being subjected to waterboarding.

Among the most revealing elements of the report is the following sentence: “He [Trump] told some associates that he wanted to preserve the support of Republican hawks in the Senate in the coming impeachment trial.” In other words, if the Times’ account is true, domestic political calculations played a significant role in this crime.

Suleimani was a high government official of a sovereign state. As a general he was a peer of American military leaders in the fight against ISIS. He was murdered in a third country, Iraq, while acting in an official capacity to meet with the Iraqi prime minister. This was a war crime and an act of war.

aaaaand pompeo's on twitter raging about ISIS numbers increasing in iraq...

thanks ggersh, and for the outtakes of the giraldi piece; it's 2 long 2 read for now, and iirc, i'd seen it at strategic culture, too, an had bailed out due to length.

on edit: giraldi's piece wasn't at SC, but as to this he wrote:

Trump has in fact done more to ensure that Iran will have a nuclear weapon than any other president through his abrupt withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA)...etc.

iran couldn't be more clear about not wanting nuclear weapons, as it's against their religion.

but FM zarif is pretty clear on their response (tehran times):

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that France, Germany, and the UK have bowed to “the U.S. diktat” for 20 months.

Zarif said this policy “hasn’t gotten it anywhere-and it never will.”

The chief diplomat added that the three European countries can save the 2015 nuclear deal “but not by appeasing the bully & pressuring the complying party.”

In the same tweet, Zarif also said, “Rather it should muster the courage to fulfill its own obligations.”

France, Britain, and Germany plan to trigger on Tuesday the dispute mechanism in the Iran nuclear deal, Reuters reported.

Two European diplomats said on Tuesday the decision was aimed at saving the deal by discussing with Iran what it should do to reverse its decision on suspending all the nuclear limits.

The three countries were to inform the European Union on Tuesday they plan to trigger the mechanism.

U.S. President Donald Trump quit the nuclear deal, officially known as the JCPOA, in May 2018 and introduced the harshest ever sanctions in history on Iran as part of his administration’s “maximum pressure” strategy against Iran.

The European countries failed to protect Iran’s benefits from the deal and after patiently watching for more than a year and seeing no clear action from the other signatories of the nuclear deal, Iran starte to partially reduce its commitments.

Iran’s action is based on articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA. Tehran has repeatedly announced it will reverse its decisions once other signatories fulfill their commitments.

Under the 2015 nuclear agreement endorsed by the UN Security Council resolution 2231, Iran agreed to put limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for the termination of economic and financial bans."
He added, “Take the honorable path for a change: settle court-ordered debt to Iranians.”

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edg's picture

England, France and Germany prove once again they are lapdogs of the American Empire. When they should be criticizing the US for abrogating JCPOA, they instead target Iran for realizing the agreement is defunct.

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wendy davis's picture


yes, poodles, puppets...and hadn't they said earlier that they'd ease up on iranian sanctions, as well, then reneged?

remember Boss Tweets rant that russia and china need to abrogate the JCPOA for a 'better one'? #WhataDumbass. both nations have been very clear about it being the only way to go. and yet mutti merkel and putin have found some common ground recently; go figure.

of course an Outlaw Empire doesn't need to make sense, does it? a nuclear WWWIII would be far preferable.

thanks, edg.

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RantingRooster's picture

video supposedly of the actual downing of the plane, but of course it's footage acquired by none of than the New York Times, and in the footage one can clearly see a time stamp on the footage from Oct 2019, so how valid it is, I'm not sure. (Could be the camera's date/time wasn't set properly...idk)

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wendy davis's picture


two missiles, wrong date stamp, confirmed by the CIA Times? now i couldn't find it at, nor on their twit account:, nor on ruptly's:

but yeah, wouldn't iran's enemies love that one? kinda hate to get on the Slimes site; i'll check their twit account.

doesn't say much else, but when i began to bingle for their account, first thing i ran into is when they' teamed up with the Intercept on 'leakes iran cables'.

when i'd clicked thru to youtube on your Breaking Exposé, folks were laughing at it.

on edit: there any reason to believe those are missile hits on a
jet, let alone the downed Ukraine jet out of Imam Khomeini Airport airport?

and yes: Fuck Israel

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RantingRooster's picture

@wendy davis said RT America.

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wendy davis's picture


that's what the logo says. the wiki says: "RT America is a U.S.-based pay television and internet-based news channel which is part of the RT network, a global multilingual television news network based in Moscow, Russia, and funded by the Russian government.

Headquarters: Washington, D.C., PR

well, never mind; i just hadn't ever known of it, no apologies necessary.

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wendy davis's picture


"The new video fills a gap about why the plane’s transponder stopped working, seconds before it was hit by a second missile.

An earlier Times analysis confirmed what Iran later admitted: that an Iranian missile did strike the plane. The Times also established that the transponder stopped working before that missile hit the plane. The new video appears to confirm that an initial strike disabled the transponder, before the second strike, also seen in the video, around 23 seconds later.

Neither strike downed the plane immediately. The new video shows the airliner on fire, circling back toward Tehran’s international airport. Minutes later it exploded and crashed down, narrowly missing the village of Khalaj Abad, an earlier Times video reconstruction, below, shows.

The Times has confirmed that the new video was filmed by a camera on the roof of a building near the village of Bidkaneh, four miles from an Iranian military site. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ airspace unit, said that missiles were launched from a base near there.

Flight activity from Tehran’s international airport was normal on the morning of Jan. 8, the flight data showed, and Flight 752 followed its regular route. It was one of 19 planes that took off from Tehran in the hours after Iran launched missiles at military bases in Iraq housing American troops.

The new video was uploaded to YouTube by an Iranian user around 2 a.m. on Tuesday.
The date visible on the footage is “2019-10-17,” not Jan. 8, the day the plane was downed. We believe this is because the camera system is using a Persian calendar, not a Gregorian one. Jan. 8 converts to the 18th of Dey, the 10th month in the Persian calendar. Digitally that would display as 2019-10-18 in the video. One theory is that the discrepancy of one day can be explained by a difference between Persian and Gregorian leap years or months."

another story below it is: ‘For Prince Harry, No Special Treatment in Canada’, Jan. 14. wanna be that's puff piece, lol?

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RantingRooster's picture

@wendy davis close down their air space over a hot conflict zone when MH17 went down.

Goodness, I mean they just fired a bunch of missiles at American targets in the region, would it not be prudent to either close down air space in the area for a little while, while they waited to see what the US do or somehow re-route air traffic to other areas? It's would seem common sense has completely left the planet, not just here in the US.

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wendy davis's picture


and who could not admire this?

It would seem common sense has completely left the planet, not just here in the US.

okay, it gets weirder and weirder. i’d bingled ‘new video shows two iranian missiles hit the downed ukrainian plane’ (as per the NYT, and in the first page of hits the only one that’s different is: had titled their coverage: ‘Video Reportedly Shows Iranian Missile Hitting Ukrainian Plane Before 176 Died in Crash’, jan 10, 2020 on their ‘entertainment; tab’ (I hadn’t even noticed that the times published it 5 days ago), and oh, tiddly-pom, i didn't save the link! no matter: on edit: i found it, added it...

“A video uploaded to social media on Thursday and verified by the New York Times appears to show a missile striking an aircraft near the location where a Ukrainian plane lost contact before crashing and killing everyone aboard on Wednesday.

The footage, first posted on Twitter by user Nariman Gharib, shows a fast-moving object soaring through the night sky before colliding with another object over Iran. The impact caused a loud explosion that could be heard from miles away.
The Times reported the video shows a missile hitting the Boeing 737 bound for Ukraine.

Initial reports from the Iranian government claimed the crash was likely caused by mechanical difficulties, according to the Washington Post. But the timing of the tragedy was unusual, as it occurred just hours after the country launched missiles at two military bases in Iraq that house U.S. troops.

On Thursday, Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization chief Ali Abedzadeh said the plane was “on fire” before the crash, BBC News reported.

[but look; no time stamp? that i can see]

According to CBS News, U.S. satellites detected two surface-to-air missile launches that occurred shortly before the plane exploded. Missile components were apparently found near the location of the crash, a source who was inside an intelligence briefing told CBS News.

(the tweet's url to check for subtweets) : says he’s in london; no bias here, oh no...

@NarimanGharib 8h8 hours ago
I'm getting lots of calls. They have arrested the WRONG person regarding the #Flight752 In Iran. The person who is a source of the video is SAFE and I can assure you IRGC is orchestrating another lie. They killed 176 passengers on commercial plane. Thats the real story here.

I'm asking @JustinTrudeau and @CanadaFP to step into this situation and ask Iranian officials to release the WRONG folks they have in custody. My source who is a HERO is safe. also why they need to arrest this person?! #PS752

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RantingRooster's picture

@wendy davis You're quite good at assembling this stuff lickity split! Good Job! Drinks

Another thing I noted that is quite interesting, at least to me.

If you look at the images of the crash site of the Iran airliner that just went down, as well as the Ukrainian flight MH17 that went down over Ukraine, and compare those crash site images, with quite obvious plane debris, wreckage, fuselage bits, wing parts, with the images of flight 93 that went down in a Pennsylvania field on 9/11, one must wonder, where is the wreckage from flight 93? Or the one that hit the pentagon or the twin towers? But hey, we have an unburned passport from one of the supposed hijackers. Scratch one-s head

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wendy davis's picture


may be down to tunnel-vision and obsession with mysteries. do you think that's even the same video the nyt has, and that RT america had? as in: no time stamp? that dude actually had folks trying in subtweets to help him, but reason i'd provided the url.

also, the agitprop against iran is ramping up exponentially and may srsly lead to WWIII, may the gods save us.

now i've been posting PSAs on the 'lawyers commission inquiry into 9/11' (or close to that, check my dashboard), but they have to of videos, position papers, evidence galore, etc., and want to open an actual non-whitewashed inquiry. they just need more amerikan dollars.

now as to the ukrainian airliner, i've seen photos, but cannae recall what i'd seen, partially on accountta my crap eyes. the danged NYT may have had a photo of a debris field... gotta scoot for now; thanks, Rantin'!

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CB's picture

Ukrainian air traffic control routed the flight further to the south, RIGHT over the conflict area that it was shot down from. The Ukrainian government refused to explain or even acknowledge why this was done on that day.

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wendy davis's picture


Ukrranian flight M17 (head thwok). thinking you meant over Imam Khomeini airport, i went back to describe exactly what Commander of the Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Amir-Ali Hajizadeh to bring it (as enigmatic as it was to me).

if you haven't already, i hope you can find the time to bend your acute and visual skills to these new 'videos' that show iran hit the plane with two missiles, as well as the commentary afoot. i haven't seen any indication that tehran knows about them. but the zeigeist seems to be close to 'this is whole new ballgame now'. and it just might be.

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wendy davis's picture

(video not included)

Ukraine Airliner Hit By a Second Missile Over Iran, New Video Shows 14 hrs ago:

"The video was verified by Storyful, a social-media-intelligence company owned by News Corp, parent of Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones. It raises new questions about how forthcoming Iranian authorities were when, after three days of denial, they admitted they had mistakenly struck the Ukraine International Airlines flight without mentioning a second missile.
Surveillance video from Iran circulating on social media Tuesday appears to show two missiles hitting the Ukrainian passenger jet downed over Tehran, fired approximately 30 seconds apart, providing new information about the tragedy that killed 176 people on the plane.

It also possibly answers the question of why the Ukrainian airliner’s transponder stopped working before being hit by the missile that apparently brought the jet down last week.
A U.S. official identified the weapon used as a Russian-made SA-15 surface-to-air missile system, also known as the Gauntlet.

While Canada and the U.K. said at the time that one missile was fired, U.S. officials told the Journal that the system fired two missiles.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on Saturday admitted it had mistakenly shot the plane down, something Western governments had claimed, taking full responsibility and promising accountability for the perpetrators and compensation for the victims.

The three-day delay in that admission, which Ukrainian officials have said came only after they found evidence of the use of a missile forced Tehran’s hand, fueled anger and protests in the streets of Tehran and other Iranian cities against perceived incompetence and dishonesty by the Iranian leadership.

The revelation that Iran’s military struck a civilian plane not once but twice will likely add fuel to that anger."

this is The world’s social media intelligence and news agency; We analyze conversations and content across digital platforms — from mainstream to fringe networks — to make sense of what’s happening on social media."

or: a lot like Bellingcat, eh? online crowd-souring of intelligence... ah, latest they have is: Video Apparently Showing Flight PS752 Missile Strike Geolocated to Iranian Suburb, January 9, 2020

"On January 9th, a video spread online after it was posted onto a public Telegram channel showing what was apparently a mid-air explosion. The New York Times has contacted the person who filmed the video, received it in high resolution, and confirmed its authenticity. Below, an annotated version of the video created by Jake Godin (Newsy) highlights the events of the brief clip. (Uploaded directly here)"

same as the one @NarimanGharib put up. hmmmm; how 'bout that?.

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wendy davis's picture

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