Iraqi Army Mil Mi-17 Helicopter has crashed near Tuz Khurmatu under unknown circumstances. All five occupants died in the crash. The helicopter belonged to the Iraqi army and crashed in a combat mission against ISIS insurgents.
“The Joint Operations Command mourns the five heroic martyrs … the crew of a Mi-17 helicopter, who were martyred during its fall near the vicinity of Amerli area, at 2:45 this morning at dawn while it was performing a combat mission,” the cell said on Thursday.
“The incident happened near a Hashd al-Shaabi [Popular Mobilisation Forces, PMF] base, we don’t know why it crashed yet but security forces have visited the scene,” Tuz Khurmatu mayor Hassan Zayd al-Abidin told Rudaw’s Hiwa Husamaddin on Thursday.
“An Iraqi air force delegation and investigation committee headed by the air force command is supposed to visit the area,” added the mayor.
Osama Tariq Abd Obaid, Ali Fadel Ghadban, Louay Hatem Farhan, Atheer Fayez Ibrahim, and Wissam Ali Sfeih, all the military personnel were killed, according to the statement.
It did not, however, provide any information about the cause of the crash.
The Iraqi air force, which includes combat helicopters and fighter jets, is usually involved in missions against the Daesh/ISIS terrorist group.
Terrorists affiliated with Daesh/ISIS have increased attacks in the region in recent months, particularly near the provinces of Kirkuk, Salahuddin, and Diyala.
In 2017, Iraq declared victory over Daesh/ISIS by reclaiming all territories captured by terrorists since the summer of 2014, estimated to be about a third of the country’s total area.
The terror group, however, still has sleeper cells in Iraq and continues to launch sporadic attacks on civilians, security forces, infrastructure, and other targets.