Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed media in Ottawa today, following the announcement by US intelligence and the Pentagon that the Ukrainian flight which saw 63 Canadians dead among 176 total was shot down by a Russian-made Iranian anti-aircraft missile.
Trudeau, who made his second public appearance of the year, sincerely addressed media, extending his “most sincere condolences to the families and loved ones, who are grieving.”
“We have intelligence from multiple sources including our allies and our own intelligence, the evidence indicates that the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface to air missile,” confirmed Trudeau. “This may well have been unintentional. This new information reinforces the need for a thorough investigation into this matter. Canada is working with its allies to ensure that a thorough credible investigation is conducted to determine the causes of this fatal crash. As I said yesterday, Canadians have questions and they deserve answers.”
Trudeau went on to confirm that Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Francois-Philippe Champagne “made it clear that Canadian officials must immediately be granted access to Iran in order to provide consular services, identify the victims, and participate in a thorough investigation.”
Champagne also condemned Iranian strikes that targeted military bases in Iraq where coalition forces, including Canadians, are currently stationed.
“The families of the victims, and all Canadians want answers. I want answers. That means closure, transparency, accountability, and justice. And this government will not rest until we get that,” stressed Trudeau.
When asked whether or not the United States had any responsibility for the attack, Trudeau responded that a full investigation needed to be conducted before commenting.
“The evidence suggests that this is the likely cause, but we need to have a full and complete and credible investigation to establish exactly what happened. That is what we’re calling for, and this is what we’re expecting will happen.”
He went on to say that it was too early to know whether or not to consider the strike an act of war.
The majority of the 176 victims were connecting to Canada, including 63 Canadian citizens. The victims included students, families, professors, newlyweds.
This article will be updated.