Two US Predator drones crash in Iraq, Turkey
The US Air Force lost control of two Predator drones in separate incidents recently in Turkey and Iraq, a US military official said Wednesday.
Predator drones are capable of being equipped with deadly munitions, but it was not immediately clear if they were armed at the time of the incidents.
In the first case on October 16, a Predator crew reported a "lost link and subsequent crash while the Predator was flying southeast of Baghdad," military spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said.
Local Iraqi police recovered the drone in the vicinity of Al-Kut. They returned the aircraft to US control and there were no injuries, Warren said.
Then on October 19, a different Predator "crashed" in southern Turkey, Warren said. Local media have said it came down in Hatay.
"The aircraft experienced mechanical failure. The Air Force in this case maintained positive control of the aircraft and brought it down safely in an unpopulated area," Warren said.
Again, the aircraft was returned to US control. Both incidents are under investigation.
The United States is leading a 60-plus member coalition targeting Islamic State jihadists in Iraq and Syria and has been carrying out frequent warplane and drone raids for more than a year.
Turkey has permitted the United States to use a base at Incirlik in southern Turkey to conduct strikes against IS.