A mysterious helicopter crash in northern Iraq has claimed the lives of several people, including alleged fighters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), according to a statement from the counter-terrorism services of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region on March 16.
The helicopter, identified as a Eurocopter AS350 Écureuil, crashed in the district of Chamanke in Dohuk province in Kurdistan late on March 15. Seven people who were aboard the helicopter at the time of the crash were killed.
In its statement, the counter-terroism services of Kurdistan said that the helicopter was carrying fighters of the PKK. Iraq’s government, the United States-led coalition and Turkey had been contacted by the Kurdish regional government about the crash, but each denied the helicopter was theirs.
Zagros Hiwa, a spokesperson for the PKK, denied that the group possesses helicopters and said they were also investigating the incident.
Hiwa also cast doubt on the presence of PKK fighters onboard the helicopters, saying they may have a United States-led coalition helicopter carrying fighters from the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish group. Ankara considers the YPG to be a branch of the PKK.
A spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition declined to comment on the incident , saying the helicopter fell outside the coalition’s operations zone.
The PKK maintains a large presence in Kurdistan despite repeated Turkish military operations in the region. The group does not always acknowledge its losses, thus the comment of its spokesman on the helicopter crash may not be entirely true.
Everyone knows the US lies, but did anyone ask israel if it was one of their helicopters?