UPDATE: Ukrainian Airline Believed to be Downed by Iranian Missile

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The Ukrainian passenger jet that was downed in Iran is believed to have been accidentally shot down by an Iranian anti-aircraft missile, according to western security officials.

UK media says British authorities have seen intelligence that the airliner was struck by an Iranian defense missile. Officials have also told US media that they had identified the signature from an anti-aircraft missile battery being activated before the jet went down in flames.

The officials also said they had identified the infrared signature from two suspected missile launches followed shortly afterwards by the infra red blip from the burning and fatally disabled aircraft.

Iran’s aviation authority said on Wednesday it would not hand over flight recorders either to the aircraft’s American manufacturer or to US aviation authorities, but that it would give Ukrainian investigators access to the investigation.

But the head of the authority, Ali Abedzadeh, appeared to backtrack on Thursday, saying claims in the Iranian media that the black boxes would not be sent overseas were “a mistake taken by the reporter”.

See The Guardian here.