U.S. officials put out a statement Friday that all seven service members who were in a US HH-60 Black Hawk variant, Pave Hawk helicopter that crashed Thursday were killed.
The crash does not appear to be the result of enemy activity but the cause is still under investigation.
The men were an acting part of Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR). Operation Inherent Resolve is a Combined Joint Task Force with other nations to defeat ISIS in designated areas of Iraq and Syria, and sets conditions for follow-on operations to increase regional stability.
The statement said:
At approximately 6:45 p.m. GMT March 15, 2018, a U.S. HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter crashed in western Iraq. The crash does not appear to be a result of enemy activity. This incident is under investigation.
“All personnel aboard were killed in the crash,” said Brig. Gen. Jonathan P. Braga, director of operations, Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve. “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.”
An accompanying U.S. helicopter immediately reported the crash and a quick reaction force comprised of Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition members secured the scene.
“We are grateful to the Iraqi Security Forces for their immediate assistance in response to this tragic incident,” Braga said. “Iraqi Security Forces continue to demonstrate their professionalism, capabilities and flexibility as we continue the fight towards a lasting defeat of Daesh.”
Names of the fallen will be released by the U.S. Department of Defense after next of kin have been notified.
We will update this article with more details as they become more available.