The entire crew of a U.S. Air Force search-and-rescue helicopter were killed when their aircraft crashed in western Iraq, American commanders with the U.S.-led operation against the Islamic State in the country confirmed Friday.
The seven-member crew of the HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter were conducting an operation near Al Qaim in Anbar Governorate, nearly 250 miles northwest of Baghdad along the Iraqi-Syrian border.
“All personnel aboard were killed in the crash,” said Brig. Gen. Jonathan P. Braga, director of operations, said in a command statement.
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.
While the incident is still under investigation, there are no indications the helicopter was brought down as a result of enemy fire, Gen. Braga added in the statement issued early Friday.
“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,” Gen. Braga said in Monday’s statement, refusing to disclose the identities of the slain service members.