According to the military, the aircraft crashed near Amerli in Salaheddin province, in an area where Iraqi troops have conducted many operations against alleged Islamic State sleeper cells
The military said , 5 Iraqi helicopter crew members were killed Thursday when their helicopter crashed on a “combat mission” north of Baghdad, as a security source confirmed it had been hit by ground fire.
The helicopter were flying a mission around 2.30 a.m.in the north of Amerli in Salaheddin province, the military said, in an area where Iraqi troops have carried out repeated operations against suspected sleeper cells of the Islamic State group.
They were identified as Osama Tariq ABD Obaid , Alifadel Ghadban ,Louay Hatem Farhan, Atheer Fayez Ibrahim,and Wissam Ali Sfeih.
In Baghdad showed firefighters attempting to put out a blaze in the wreckage of the aircraft.
Salaheddin, a statement on their Twitter account said ,The security forces had launched an operation on Tuesday to “search and clear areas, in the south of Kirkuk province”.
The security source told AFP that the helicopter that came down was one of two that had been checking pylons carrying high-voltage power lines in the area, a frequent target for holdout jihadists in recent months.
As the two aircraft approached Amerli district, one of them took a “direct hit” which forced it down.
The Islamic State group lost its last territory an Iraqi Mi -17 crashed in 2017 after a bloody three-year campaign that put paid to its hopes of forging a transnational “caliphate” straddling the border with Syria.
But the jihadists retain sleeper cells in desert and mountain areas that they have used as launchpads for attacks in Iraq’s cities.
A July 19 suicide bombing claimed by the Sunni extremists killed 30 people in a street market in a Shiite district of Baghdad.
- Marrtto said, “we must not forget the valuable contribution they made to their country & impact they had on the defeatdaesh mission”