Defense

US-Led Coalition Member Killed In Helicopter Crash In Iraq

REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

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Will Racke Immigration and Foreign Policy Reporter

A member of the U.S.-led coalition to defeat the Islamic State was killed and several others injured when their helicopter crashed Sunday night in Iraq, according to U.S. military officials.

Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) said all personnel on the aircraft had been recovered and that three coalition members had been evacuated for further medical treatment.

“The aircraft was conducting a partnered counterterrorism mission in support of Operation Inherent Resolve,” the coalition said in a statement released Monday, adding that there were “no indications the crash was caused by hostile fire.”

An investigation into the cause of the incident has been launched, according to OIR. The name and nationality of the deceased service member will be released at a later date by “pertinent national authorities.”

“Our heartfelt condolence to the family of [the] service member who died in a helicopter crash in last night,” OIR spokesman Col. Sean Ryan wrote on Twitter. “While the incident was not a result of enemy fire, it further demonstrates the sacrifices of service members & and the danger they face everyday”

The incident comes after an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter crashed in western Iraq in March, killing all seven crew members aboard. Like Sunday’s crash, the Pave Hawk was not downed by enemy fire. (RELATED: US Helicopter Crash In Iraq Kills 7 Crew Members)

OIR did not name the type of helicopter that crashed on Sunday night. Citing U.S. military sources with knowledge of the crash, Newsweek reported that it was an MH-60 Blackhawk flown by pilots from the U.S. Army’s elite 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.

The Daily Caller News Foundation was unable to confirm the Newsweek report.

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