The Islamic State group (Daesh) shot down an Iraqi helicopter that was supporting federal police forces in Mosul, killing two crew members, the military said on Thursday.
“Their helicopter aircraft was attacked by enemy fire and destroyed on the battlefield,” Iraq´s Joint Operations Command said in a statement, putting the death toll at two.
It did not specify what type of helicopter was shot down, nor say whether it was hit by gunfire or a surface-to-air missile. The IS attack comes after another helicopter went down south of Mosul at the beginning of the year due to a “technical failure,” killing four crew members.
Iraqi forces launched a major operation to retake Mosul in October, recapturing its eastern side before setting their sights on the smaller but more densely populated west.
Strikes by Iraqi helicopters are especially important for the country´s interior ministry forces, which consistently complain of not receiving sufficient air support from the US-led anti-IS coalition.—AFP