US military helicopter accident UU In Iraq, killing all the troops on board

Updated on March 16, 2018 at 7:37 a.m. EDT

U.S. Authorities said Friday that a US military helicopter had crashed in western Iraq, killing all members of the service on board. the Pentagon did not immediately confirm the death toll from the accident.

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

The plane was being used by the Air Force for combat search and rescue, and was in transit from one place to another when it went down on Thursday afternoon near al-Qaim in Anbar province, where the United States It has a base. [19659003] "All the personnel on board died in the accident," said Brig. General Jonathan P. Braga, operations director of the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, in a written statement sent to CBS News. "This tragedy reminds us of the risks that our men and women face every day in the service of our nations, we are thinking of the loved ones of these service members today."

The cause of the accident was under investigation.

Government officials in Baghdad told CBS News that the 8th Iraqi Army division helped US forces secure the crash site.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who was traveling from Bahrain to the United States, received information about the accident.

The US-led coalition fighting the insurgents of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has an outpost in Al-Qaim, which is near the border with Syria. The anti-ISIS campaign accelerated during much of last year, when the coalition and Iraqi forces fought to recover a series of cities and towns.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over ISIS in Mosul in July In the following months, Iraqi forces resumed a handful of other cities controlled by ISIS, including Tal Afar in August, Hawija in September and Qaim in October. In November, Iraqi forces retook the last Iraqi city occupied by ISIS – Rawah, near the border with Syria.

The coalition led by EE. UU He has continued to work with Iraq and the Syrian Democratic Forces to shore up the border region and ensure that foreign fighters and insurgents can not move freely around the region.

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