KEY POINTS

  • Satellite images show the site where the Ukrainian airliner crashed
  • Iran admitted that it unintentionally shot down the passenger plane
  • Officials from Iran said the plane was mistaken as a cruise missile

Images captured by the satellites of a space tech company revealed the wreckage of the Ukrainian airliner that was shot down by Iran last week. The images were taken shortly after officials from Iran admitted to shooting down the passenger plane with a proximity missile.

The photos from space were captured by the WorldView-1 and WorldView-2 satellites of DigitalGlobe, which is a subsidiary of Maxar Technologies based in Colorado. The images feature Khalaj Abad, Iran, the region where the Boeing 737 plane from the Ukraine International Airlines crashed after it was shot down.

One of the photos, which was taken using the satellite’s infrared camera, showed debris from the plane scattered across the region. The photos taken by DigitalGlobe’s satellites were obtained by Space.com.

The incident occurred after Iran deployed multiple missiles to bomb two facilities in Iraq, which were believed to have been housing U.S. troops. It was carried out as a retaliatory act by Iran following the death of Major General Qassim Suleimani, who was killed through a drone strike authorized by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Following the death of the general, Iran vowed to enact harsh revenge against the U.S. Unfortunately, this led to unintentionally shooting down the Ukrainian airliner on Jan. 8, killing over 170 people aboard the plane. The plane crashed shortly after taking off from the Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran.

On Saturday, Iran admitted to unintentionally shooting down the plane after it was mistaken as a cruise missile. An official from the country cited human error as the primary cause of the incident.

“Unfortunately, because of the hasty decision of one person, this great disaster happened,” General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the Revolutionary Guard Commander of Iran said in a statement according to the New York Times.

“Given the information that the defense system’s operator had been provided that we were in a war situation and cruise missiles had been fired, this person identified the plane as a cruise missile,” he continued.

Following the incident, Trump vowed to impose new economic sanctions against Iran, which would cut off billion dollars of support to the country’s government.