All aboard killed in U.S. helicopter crash in Iraq

Pave Hawk helicopterflies during training Feb. 22 2018

Pave Hawk helicopterflies during training Feb. 22 2018

A U.S. military aircraft has crashed in western Iraq with American personnel aboard, the worldwide coalition against the Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist group said on 15 March.

The Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter crashed near the town of al-Qaim, Anbar province, near the Syrian border.

Two FDNY members - a lieutenant and a fire marshal - are among the seven soldiers killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq.

The operation was reportedly in support of the coalition effort to battle the terror group known as ISIS in Iraq, according to a statement issued by command officials at Operation Inherent Resolve. "We are thinking of the loved ones of these service members today", Braga said in a news release on Friday.

Seven people were believed to be on board at the time, and at least some of them were thought to have died, the official said.

The Defense Department said it would not release the names of the deceased US service members until their families have been notified.

The military said a second accompanying American helicopter immediately reported the crash and Iraqi security forces and coalition members secured the area.

Investigators are probing the crash's cause. "Iraqi Security Forces continue to demonstrate their professionalism, capabilities and flexibility as we continue the fight towards a lasting defeat of [ISIS]". And a USA -led military coalition made up of Kurdish and Syrian rebels in October announced they'd defeated the Islamic State after capturing Raqqa, the terrorist network's designated capital of Syria. In November, Iraqi forces retook the last Iraqi town held by IS - Rawah, near the border with Syria.

Baghdad declared victory over the extremists late a year ago but IS still has the ability to wage deadly violence in Iraq, including a series of attacks in the country's north that left 25 dead earlier this month.

Al-Qaim is in Anbar province near the Syrian border, an area that continues to pose a serious threat to the US -led command fighting the Islamic State.

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