11 soldiers killed as military helicopter crashes in Turkey
Published: 11:04 AM, 5 March 2021 Updated: 03:58 PM, 5 March 2021
A screenshot from a video shows the wreckage of the military helicopter that crashed in Bitlis, Turkey, March 4, 2021; Photo: IHA
11 members of the Turkish army were killed when a military helicopter was crashed in southeastern Turkey. Two more soldiers were injured in the incident.
The country’s defense ministry has confirmed the information.
The Cougar helicopter crashed near the village of Kekmes in Turkey’s Bitlis province, the Anadolu Agency reported.
According to the Turkish news agency, the helicopter was going from the city of Tatvan to the nearby province of Bingöl. Authorities lost contact with the helicopter at 2:25 pm local time.
Turkish officials say nine of the victims died on the spot. The other two died at the hospital. Among those killed was Turkish Army Commander Lieutenant General Osman Erbaş.
The Turkish Defense Ministry described the crash as “an accident”, however, the details were not disclosed.
Local media reported that Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and senior army officials were visiting the site.
The European Union and the United States have mourned the loss of NATO ally Turkey. They also said that they are ready to provide any kind of help if needed.
The military helicopter crashed in an area where Turkish forces often carry out operations against Kurdish militias.
Earlier in 2017, at least 13 soldiers were killed when a military helicopter crashed in Turkey’s Şırnak province, which located between the borders of Iraq and Syria.