BAGHDAD (Reuters) - An Iraqi army helicopter crashed on Wednesday due to “hostile fire” west of Baghdad where security forces were fighting Islamic State militants, who claimed responsibility for downing it.
The helicopter crashed in the Fuhailat area, a frontline 15 km (10 miles) southeast of the Islamic state stronghold of Falluja, according to a police officer from the nearby town of Amriyat Falluja.
“Initial reports suggest the helicopter was shot down by anti-aircraft machine gun,” lieutenant Hani al-Jumaili said.
Islamic State said in a message circulated by its supporters on Twitter that it had downed the aircraft.
One member of the armed forces died and two crew members were seriously wounded, according to the officer and a source at Amiriyat Fallujah hospital.
The incident comes a day after another army helicopter crashed in southern Iraq due to a technical fault, killing nine.
Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; editing by John Stonestreet