Seven US service members killed in Iraq helicopter crash

Seven service members traveling in a U.S. military helicopter in Western Iraq were killed when the aircraft crashed near the Syrian border.

Army Brig. Gen. Jonathan P. Braga, director of operations for the combined task force battling the Islamic State, said there were no survivors after the HH-60 Pave Hawk hurtled to the ground Thursday evening.

The names of those onboard, reportedly all U.S. Air Force Airmen, were not immediately released Friday morning pending the notification of family.

“This tragedy reminds us of the risks our men and women face every day in service of our nations,” Braga said in a press release. “We are thinking of the loved ones of these service members today.”

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Military officials said the crash “does not appear to be a result of enemy activity” and is currently under investigation.

The chopper had not been on a combat mission when the fatal crash occurred near al Qaim — an Iraqi town that also serves as an American outpost along the Syrian border.

Since the United States launched its military campaign in 2014, ISIS has lost a bulk of the territory apart of its self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq and Syria. And a U.S.-led military coalition made up of Kurdish and Syrian rebels in October announced they’d defeated the Islamic State after capturing Raqqa, the terrorist network’s designated capital of Syria.