Seven American soldiers are feared dead after a military helicopter crashed in western Iraq yesterday.
The HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter crashed near al-Qaim, a town in Anbar province close to the Syrian border, reportedly after hitting a power line.
A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said fatalities are ‘likely’ and so far there are no indications that the helicopter was brought down by hostile fire.
In a statement, U.S. Central Command confirmed that a U.S. military aircraft carrying U.S. service members crashed in western Iraq, but did not give any further details.
‘Rescue teams are responding to the scene of the downed aircraft at this time,’ the statement said.
Central Command also said an investigation will be launched to determine the cause of the crash.
The United States acknowledges that it has about 5,200 troops in Iraq that are part of a coalition fighting Islamic State militants.
Late last year, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared final victory over Islamic State, three years after the militant group captured about a third of Iraq’s territory.