22 US soldiers injured in helicopter crash in northeastern Syria

Joshua Roberts/Reuters/File


A total of 15 U.S. service members have been evacuated for treatment after a helicopter crash in Syria on Sunday, some of them in critical condition, a U.S. defense official familiar with the incident said.

The service members were taken to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, the official said, a major military hospital that has treated wounded U.S. troops in combat for years.

Seven other service members were injured in the accident and were treated at the scene, and some have already returned to duty, the official said. All the injured troops are in stable condition, three U.S. defense officials said.

The helicopter involved in the crash was an MH-47 Chinook, a specialized heavy-lift helicopter used by special operations forces for mobility and operations, two defense officials said.

The helicopter “had a problem with a rotor and it landed hard during takeoff,” Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh told a briefing on Tuesday.

“The cause of the incident is under investigation, however no enemy firing has been reported,” said A Report Released by US Central Command on Monday.

The incident occurred at a base in northeastern Syria used by U.S. forces, and officials said there were no rescue or recovery efforts outside the compound. A third security official said the accident occurred “during a period of darkness”, although it was unclear whether it happened during an operation.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation, CENTCOM said in a statement. U.S. troops in the area have come under enemy fire from Iranian-backed Shiite militias targeting U.S. personnel, but CENTCOM said there was no enemy fire in the area during the incident.

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The US has about 900 troops in Syria as part of its mission to defeat ISIS.

In AprilThe US military has grounded all non-missionary military pilots after two separate helicopter crashes killed 12 soldiers.

In one incident, three soldiers died A mid-air collision Two AH-64 Apache helicopters near Fort Wainwright, Alaska. According to a release from the US Army’s 11th Airborne Division, two soldiers died at the scene and a third died while being transported to a hospital.

In the same month, Nine soldiers were killed when two HH-60 Black Hawk helicopters with the 101st Airborne Division crashed in southwestern Kentucky. Both the planes were on a training mission when the accident happened.

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