US helicopter with seven people on board crashes in western Iraq
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A US military helicopter with seven people on board crashed in western Iraq, security sources said on Friday.
“The aircraft belonged to the Global Coalition, which was providing support for our forces in the area of al-Qaim. It resulted in the death of a number of its crew,” Iraq’s security agency explained in a statement.
“Preliminary information indicates that its fall was the result of a technical defect and an investigation is underway,” the statement added.
The aircraft was an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter and crashed in Anbar Province close to the Syrian border, US officials told Reuters.
One of the officials noted it was “likely” there were fatalities, and that so far, there were no indications that the helicopter was brought down by hostile fire.
In a statement of their own, US Central Command confirmed that a US military aircraft carrying US service members had crashed in al-Qaim.
“Rescue teams are responding to the scene of the downed aircraft at this time,” the statement said.
The US Central Command added that an investigation would be launched to determine the cause of the crash.
The US has 5,200 troops in Iraq, part of the US-led coalition’s fight against the Islamic State (IS).
In Dec. 2017, Iraq declared victory over IS after three years of fierce fighting against the jihadist group.
Editing by Nadia Riva