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US military helicopter crashes in Iraq; one dead, several injured

In this file picture, US Air Force HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters are shown during Exercise Angel Thunder in Sonoran Desert, Arizona, the United States. (Photo by AFP)

A member of the US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group has lost his life and several others sustained injuries when an American helicopter crashed on a counter-terrorism mission in Iraq.

 The Operation Inherent Resolve said in a statement that the incident happened at approximately 1 a.m. local time on Monday (2200 GMT on Sunday), and that there were no immediate indications that enemy fire was involved in the crash.

“All personnel were recovered … and three were evacuated for further treatment,” the coalition said in a statement.

It added, “The aircraft was conducting a partnered counter-terrorism mission.”

The statement did not give the nationality of the service member who died, noting that an investigation had been launched into the cause of the incident.

Colonel Sean Ryan, a spokesman for the US-led international coalition, wrote in a tweet on Monday that the crash was of a military helicopter.

On March 15, an American HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter crashed in western Iraq, killing all seven service members aboard.

The United States says it has about 5,200 troops in Iraq that are part of a coalition fighting Daesh Takfiris.

On June 30, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is also the commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces, pledged to hunt down Daesh militants across Iraq after a series of attacks and abductions carried out by the terrorist group.

“We will chase the remaining cells of terrorism in their hideouts and we will kill them, we will chase them everywhere, in the mountains and the desert,” Abadi said.

Abadi declared the end of military operations against Daesh in the Arab country on December 9, 2017.

On July 10 that year, the Iraqi prime minister had formally declared victory over Daesh extremists in Mosul, which served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold in the conflict-ridden Arab country.

In the run-up to Mosul's liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.

Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January 2017 after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19 last year.

Daesh began a terror campaign in Iraq in 2014, overrunning vast swathes in lightning attacks.

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