All 7 troops in Iraq helicopter crash killed
All seven U.S. service members aboard a helicopter that crashed in western Iraq were killed, the U.S. military said Friday.
“All personnel aboard were killed in the crash,” Brig. Gen. Jonathan Braga, director of operations for Operation Inherent Resolve, said in a statement. “This tragedy reminds us of the risks our men and women face every day in service of our nations. We are thinking of the loved ones of these service members today.”
The crash does not appear to be the result of enemy fire, according to a news release.
At about 2:45 p.m. EST on Thursday, the HH-60 Pave Hawk went down near the town of al Qaim in Anbar Province. The helicopter is a type of Black Hawk.
President Trump tweeted his condolences Friday morning after the military’s confirmation.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of the brave troops lost in the helicopter crash on the Iraq-Syria border yesterday,” he tweeted. “Their sacrifice in service to our country will never be forgotten.”
The helicopter was not on a combat mission when it crashed, according to reports.
An accompanying U.S. helicopter immediately reported the crash, according to the news release. A quick reaction force of Iraqi Security Forces and coalition members secured the scene, it added.
“We are grateful to the Iraqi Security Forces for their immediate assistance in response to this tragic incident,” Braga said. “Iraqi Security Forces continue to demonstrate their professionalism, capabilities and flexibility as we continue the fight towards a lasting defeat of [ISIS].”
The incident is under investigation, according to the release.
The names of those killed were withheld until next of kin could be notified.
Updated at 11:53 a.m.