US military drone crashes in Iraq

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WASHINGTON, Jul 22: A US military drone flying a combat mission has crashed in Iraq after losing communication, the US Defense Department has confirmed.

The MQ-1 Predator drone crashed Monday near Samawa in the Muthana Province of south-western Iraq, Pentagon spokesman Army Major Roger Cabiness said Tuesday.

The unmanned aircraft was returning to its base after an intelligence mission when it had “technical complications,” Cabiness said.

There were no weapons on board the aircraft and the Pentagon is working with Iraqi authorities to recover the aircraft, the spokesman added.

The MQ-1 Predator is built by General Atomics and used primarily by the United States Air Force and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Samawah intelligence chief said Iraqi intelligence teams had located a plane body after receiving reports from factory workers.

Several pictures of the downed UAV circulated on the Twitter online social media site.

This drone was not the first to crash in the region. In March 2015, a drone crashed in neighboring Syria while reportedly spying on the home of President Bashar al-Assad.

Three crashes have also occurred in Yemen in the past 15 months, according to the Washington Post.

US forces have increased drone use to carry out surveillance and air strikes against the ISIL terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.

 

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