Iraqi F-16 fighter jet pilot killed in training mission in US
Iran Press TV
Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:54PM
An Iraqi pilot has been killed when his F-16 fighter jet crashed during a training mission in the United States, the Iraqi Defense Ministry says.
In a statement released on Friday, the ministry confirmed the death of Rasid Mohammed Sadiq, a brigadier, after search-and-rescue teams found his remains at the crash site.
The crash occurred near Douglas Municipal Airport, southeast of Tucson, Arizona, on Wednesday night during an aerial refueling maneuver when a gas line ruptured and sparked a massive fire. The Iraqi pilot was the only person aboard when his Fighting Falcon went down.
He "was in the final days of his training, and he was looking forward to returning to his home," AFP quoted the US embassy in Baghdad as saying.
The jet belonged to the Iraqi Air Force but was with the US 162nd Fighter Wing that conducts international F-16 pilot training from Tucson International Airport.
The primary mission of the 162nd Fighter Wing is education and flight training of international F-16 Fighting Falcon aircrews.
Washington has agreed to sell 36 F-16 fighter jets to Iraq this summer, along with spare parts and US-trained Iraqi pilots.
The western and northern regions of Iraq have been plagued by violence ever since ISIL Takfiri militants started their march through Iraqi territory in June 2014. Army soldiers and volunteer fighters have joined forces and are seeking to regain militant-held regions in joint operations.
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