An Iraqi air force Bell Armed Scout IA-407 has been downed west of Mosul Saturday afternoon after coming under fire from Daesh, also known as ISIS or ISIL, according to Iraq’s joint operations command.
The helicopter was hit while supporting Iraq’s mostly Shiite militia forces in an operation to retake villages still held by the militants in the sprawling desert to Mosul’s west, Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, the command’s spokesperson, said in a statement. The source of the attack was ground fire, the pilot landed safely and there were no fatalities, he added.
The government-sanctioned Shiite militia forces known as the Popular Mobilization Units launched an operation to retake a small village just south of Sinjar on Friday.
The Bell Armed Scout IA-407 is a single-engine multipurpose utility helicopter, designed to support Iraqi military intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and counter-terrorism operations.