US-led coalition member killed in Iraq aircraft crash

US-led coalition member killed in Iraq aircraft crash
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
2 min read
20 August, 2018
The US-led coalition backed Iraqi forces with air strikes against IS [File photo: Getty]

The US-led coalition in the war against the Islamic State group says one of its service members has been killed in an aircraft crash in Iraq.

The coalition's statement says the cause of the crash, which took place early on Monday, is under investigation. The aircraft did not appear to have been shot down.

The coalition did not immediately identify the name or nationality of the deceased service member. It did not say what kind of aircraft was involved and whether it was a helicopter.

It says coalition forces rescued all the personnel immediately following the crash. The coalition says three service members were evacuated for treatment.

The coalition includes Britain, France, Saudi Arabia and Turkey along with Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Jordan, the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates.

On Sunday a US military spokesperson said that its armed forces will remain in Iraq "as long as needed" in areas once held by IS.

"The main reason, after ISIS (Islamic State) is defeated militarily, is the stabilisation efforts and we still need to be there for that," US Colonel Sean Ryan said from Abu Dhabi.

But he said the number of US troops could go down once more NATO troops deploy to help train the Iraqi army. In February, NATO agreed to ramp up its presence in Iraq after Washington asked for assistance in stablising the war-torn country that has waged a costly battle against IS.

"Possibly, there could be a drawdown, it just depends on when NATO comes in and they help train the forces as well," Ryan said.

Iraq's prime minister Haidar al-Abadi declared victory over the militant group in December.