The principle U.S.-backed and Kurdish-led power in northeastern Syria stated Friday it misplaced 9 fighters, together with a commander, when two helicopters crashed this week in neighboring Iraq.
The group referred to as Syrian Democratic Forces stated the helicopters crashed throughout unhealthy climate whereas en path to the northern Iraqi metropolis of Suleimaniyah on Wednesday night time. The 9 killed included elite fighters, the group stated.
The assertion added that the Syrian Kurdish fighters had been in Iraq as a part of an “alternate of experience” within the struggle in opposition to the militant Islamic state group. It recognized the killed commander as Sherfan Kobani, a cousin of SDF’s prime commander, Mazloum Abdi.
The SDF didn’t elaborate on the reason for the crash or present additional particulars. The group referred to as on native authorities in Iraq at hand over the 9 our bodies so that they could possibly be introduced house for burial in Syria.
The SDF has been a fundamental power within the struggle in opposition to the militant Islamic State group in Syria and nonetheless carries out operations in opposition to the extremists. IS as soon as managed giant components of Syria and Iraq below the extremists’ so-called caliphate and nonetheless has sleeper cells within the area. The militants continuously stage assaults, concentrating on Kurdish-led fighters in Syria, and likewise Iraqi forces and civilians in Iraq.
TURKEY INCHES CLOSER TO INVASION OF NORTHERN SYRIA AS ISLAMIC STATE TERROR THREAT GROWS
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The SDF assertion is in sharp distinction to a report on Thursday from Iraqi Kurdish authorities, which stated that just one helicopter — an AS350 Eurocopter — had crashed in Iraq’s Dohuk province within the northern semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdish area.
That report stated that not less than 5 individuals, together with insurgents of Turkey’s outlawed Kurdistan Employee’s Celebration, or PKK, had been on board. Zagros Hiwa, a PKK spokesperson, stated Thursday the group doesn’t possess helicopters and that the PKK was additionally investigating the crash.
The PKK has been waging an insurgency in opposition to Turkey because the Eighties and is taken into account a terrorist group by Ankara, the USA and the European Union. Its militants have established protected havens in northern Iraq and continuously come below assault by Turkey within the area.
Iraq’s authorities, the U.S-led coalition and Turkey had all denied possession of the helicopter.