Friday, 21 Jun 2024

15 US service members evacuated for treatment after helicopter accident in Syria, defense official says


15 US service members evacuated for treatment after helicopter accident in Syria, defense official says

A total of 15 US service members have been evacuated for treatment after a helicopter accident in Syria on Sunday, including some who are in serious condition, according to a US defense official familiar with the incident.

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

Seven other service members were also injured in the accident and treated at the scene, the official said, and some have already returned to duty. All of the troops who sustained injuries are in stable condition, three US defense officials said.

The helicopter involved in the accident was an MH-47 Chinook, a specialized heavy-lift chopper used by special operations forces for movement and operations, according to two defense officials.

The helicopter "had a problem with one rotor that caused a hard landing during takeoff," Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh said at a briefing on Tuesday.

"The cause of the incident is under investigation, although no enemy fire was reported," said a statement released by US Central Command on Monday.

The incident occurred at a base in northeastern Syria used by US forces, the officials said, and there were no rescue or recovery efforts taking place outside the compound. The accident occurred during "a period of darkness," a third defense official said, though it was unclear whether it was during an operation.

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