U.S. Air Force identifies seven killed in Iraq helicopter crash

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Air Force identified seven men who died in a helicopter crash in western Iraq on Thursday.

Those killed were Mark Weber, 29, of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Andreas O’Keeffe, 37, of Center Moriches, New York; Christopher Zanetis, 37, of Long Island City, New York; Christopher Raguso, 39, of Commack, New York; Dashan Briggs, 30, of Port Jefferson Station, New York; William Posch, 36, of Indialantic, Florida; and Carl Enis, 31, of Tallahassee, Florida.

There were no survivors of the crash, the Department of Defense said in an earlier statement.

The crash, which did not appear to be the result of enemy activity, is under investigation, the U.S. Central Command said in an earlier statement.

The military said a second accompanying American helicopter immediately reported the crash and Iraqi security forces and coalition members secured the area.

Two U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity and citing initial reports, said on Thursday the aircraft crashed near al-Qaim, a town in Anbar province close to the Syrian border.

The United States says it has about 5,200 troops in Iraq that are part of a coalition fighting Islamic State militants.

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