Iran admitted that its military has mistakenly shot down the Ukrainian passenger plane, killing all 176 people on board. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said in an official statement on Saturday that the tragic incident was the result of “human error” after the plane flew very close to a sensitive site belonging to the IRGC. On the other side, The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky said, we expect from Iran assurances of their readiness for a full and open investigation, bringing those responsible to justice, the return of the bodies of the dead were on board, the payment of compensation, and official apologies through diplomatic channels.
Iraq’s caretaker prime minister, Adil Abdul Mahdi, arrived on Saturday in Erbil. Just after landing, he was welcomed by Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani. Abdul Mahdi was accompanied by a high-level ministerial delegation. The key discussed topics were unsurprisingly, ongoing anti-government protests and regional tensions following the US assassination of prominent Iranian general Qasim Soleimani and an Iraqi militia commander in Baghdad.
Oman’s Sultan Qaboos bin Said, one of the Middle East’s longest serving rulers who maintained the country’s neutrality in regional struggles, died on Friday (January 10) and state media said his cousin Haitham bin Tariq al-Said was named his successor. Oman declared three days of official mourning with flags to be flown at half-mast for 40 days for Sultan Qaboos, 79, who ruled since taking over in a bloodless coup in 1970.