BAGHDAD – All seven service members aboard an AMERICAN helicopter that crashed in Iraq were killed, the Pentagon said Friday in a written statement.
The plane crashed in western Iraq a day earlier, the officials of the V. S. said.
The officials said seven service members were on board. They spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss details of the crash before they were made public.
The crash was not the result of enemy activity, and is under investigation, the Pentagon said.
“This tragedy reminds us of the risks our men and women face every day in service of our nations. We think of the loved ones of these service members today,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Jonathan P. Braga, director of operations in the fight against is in Iraq and Syria.
The helicopter was used by the air force for combat search and rescue, and was in the transition from one location to the other if it went out Thursday afternoon near the city of Qaim in Anbar Province.
The Pentagon said that an accompanying U.S. helicopter immediately reported the crash, and a quick reaction force consisting of Iraqi security forces and Coalition members secured the scene.
The names of those killed will be released after relatives have been informed, the statement added.
The US-led coalition against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, an outpost in Qaim, which is located near the Syrian border. The anti-campaign HAS been accelerated by a large part of last year, as coalition and Iraqi forces fought to take back a series of towns and municipalities.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory in Mosul in July. In the following months, Iraqi forces retook a handful of other IS-held towns, including Tal Afar in August, Hawija in September and Qaim in October. In November, Iraqi forces retook the last Iraqi city held by IS — Rawah, near the border with Syria.
The US-led coalition continue to work with Iraq and Syrian Democratic Forces to shore up on the border of the region to ensure that foreign fighters and the insurgents cannot move freely in the entire region.
Associated Press writers Susannah George in London and Lolita C. Baldor in Washington contributed to this report.