U.S. Military Helicopter Crashes in Iraq With Seven Aboard


A United States Air Force HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter, like the one above, crashed in western Iraq on Thursday.Credit Mark Ralston/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

WASHINGTON — An American military helicopter crashed Thursday near the city of Qaim in western Iraq, killing some of the seven service members aboard, United States officials said.

It was unclear why the aircraft, an HH-60 Pave Hawk, went down, the officials added. They did not rule out ground fire, and they could not confirm how many people had been killed.

One official said the helicopter was not on a combat operation but was ferrying troops.

U.S. Military Helicopter Crashes in Iraq With Seven Aboard
U.S. Military Helicopter Crashes in Iraq With Seven Aboard

Maj. Adrian J. Rankine-Galloway, a Pentagon spokesman, said Thursday night that rescue personnel had been deployed and that the crash, in Anbar Province, near Syria, was under investigation.

The HH-60 is a modified version of the Black Hawk helicopter. It is often flown by the Air Force for medical evacuation missions, and is used by Special Operations pararescue specialists.

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The crash comes as American forces and their Iraqi counterparts are winding down combat operations against the Islamic State. In December, the Pentagon said there were roughly 5,200 American troops still in the country.

The border between Iraq and Syria still poses a critical threat to the American-led coalition battling the Islamic State.

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