U.S. helicopter crashes in western Iraq

Updated 2018-03-16 16:40:01 Xinhua

A helicopter of the U.S.-led international coalition crashed in western Iraq near the border with Syria, the Iraqi military said on Friday.

A brief statement from the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC) said that initial reports indicated that the helicopter, HH-60 Pave Hawk, crashed in al-Qaim area in Iraq's western province of Anbar and a number of its crew were killed.

The helicopter was carrying seven people when it crashed overnight, according to media reports.

A statement from the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed the incident and said that a few U.S. service members were aboard without giving details.

"An investigation will be initiated to determine the cause of the incident," the statement said.

Over 5,000 U.S. troops have been deployed in Iraq for supporting and training the Iraqi forces despite the territorial defeat of Islamic State (IS) militants in the country.

The troops were part of the U.S.-led international coalition that conducted air raids against IS targets in both Iraq and Syria.

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