Anti-ISIS coalition helicopter crashes in west Erbil, says Peshmerga commander

The incident took place during a military exercise in the rural area.
A Peshmerga outpost near Makhmour, Oct 24, (Wladimir van Wilgenburg/Kurdistan 24).
A Peshmerga outpost near Makhmour, Oct 24, (Wladimir van Wilgenburg/Kurdistan 24).

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A helicopter belonging to the global coalition against ISIS has crashed west of Erbil, a top Peshmerga commander confirmed to Kurdistan 24 on Thursday. 

Triggered by a "technical failure", the crash took place in Qalata Sor near Gwer sub-district in southwest Erbil, Sirwan Barzani, the head of Peshmerga forces' Sector 6, confirmed to Kurdistan 24 in a phone call. 

The incident took place during a military exercise in the rural area, Barzani said, adding the two crew members are "safe". 

The US-led Coalition in a later statement confirmed that "at approximately 12:15 p.m., Coalition service members conducting a routine helicopter training mission experienced an in-flight mishap near Erbil, Iraq, July 27, 2023."

The statement added that "there were no Coalition casualties nor damage to Coalition or civilian infrastructure. The Coalition aircraft was damaged."

The US-led coalition added that the coalition is working "with the Government of Iraq to secure the site and ensure safety for the civilian populace. An assessment of the situation is ongoing." 

In late April this year, an unmanned aerial vehicle of the Coalition forces crashed south of Kirkuk due to a mechanical failure while supporting the Iraqi forces in conducting operations. 

Formed in 2014, the 80-plus member Coalition has been supporting the Kurdistan Region and Iraqi security forces in the fight against ISIS, whose self-styled caliphate was brought down in 2017. 

Additional reporting by Kurdistan 24 reporter Renas A. Saeed and Wladimir van Wilgenburg