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Defense Minister to investigate death of F-16 Iraqi pilot in US

Defense Minister to investigate death of F-16 Iraqi pilot killed in US

Iraqi Defense Minister Erfan al-Hiyali said on Wednesday that he would open a joint investigation with US authorities into the circumstances that led to the death of an Iraqi F-16 pilot in a crash in Arizona state.

The Iraqi student pilot Nour Faleh Hazam was killed when an F-16 jet crashed during a training mission in southeastern Arizona, according to ABC.

First Lt. Lacey Roberts of the Arizona Air National Guard's 162nd Wing said the Air Force has activated a team to investigate the crash, which occurred Tuesday about 80 miles (129 kilometers) northwest of Tucson.

Hazam death was the second of an Iraqi pilot flying an F-16 that crashed in Arizona in recent years.

Roberts said the plane belonged to the Iraqi air force and that the routine training mission was being conducted in conjunction with the 162nd Wing, which is based at Tucson International Airport.

The US military is training Iraqi pilots to fly F-16s at the request of Iraq's government, Roberts said.

In July 2015, an Iraqi brigadier general flying from the 162nd Wing died when his F-16, a newer model recently delivered to the Iraqi air force, crashed during night training near Douglas.

The 162nd Wing is the Air Guard's biggest F-16 training operation and conducts training missions across military ranges in southern and central Arizona.

The wing has hosted training for allied nations since 1990 and trained pilots from nations such as Iraq, Singapore, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Oman, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Last Modified: Wednesday، 06 September 2017 07:05 PM