U.S. Military Chopper Crashes In Iraq, Killing All On Board

Friday, March 16th 2018, 7:53 am
By: News On 6

Officials said Friday that a U.S. military helicopter had crashed in western Iraq, killing all service members on board. 

The military said late Thursday night, after the crash, that the aircraft was carrying seven troops, but the Pentagon did not immediately confirm the death toll from the crash.

The military said there was no immediate indication that the Pave Hawk helicopter was shot down.

The aircraft was being used by the Air Force for combat search and rescue, and was in transit from one location to another when it went down Thursday afternoon near al-Qaim in Anbar Province, where the U.S. has a base.

"All personnel aboard were killed in the crash," said Brig. Gen. Jonathan P. Braga, director of operations, Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve, in a written statement sent to CBS News. "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."

Government officials in Baghdad told CBS News the Iraqi Army 8th division assisted U.S. forces to secure the crash site.

The U.S.-led coalition battling insurgents of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has an outpost in al-Qaim, which is located near the Syrian border. The anti-ISIS campaign accelerated through much of last year, as coalition and Iraqi forces battled to take back a string of cities and towns.