MH60 with US troops crashed, rumored it was on a mission against Iran

An unfortunate accident involving a US military helicopter claimed the lives of five servicemen over the Mediterranean Sea. This harrowing incident coincides with the heightened US military commitment in the Middle East following the recent escalations between Hamas and Israel in Gaza on October 7. 

US Navy offers new MH-60S's maritime strike capability with FVL
Photo by Kurt Lengfield

Preliminary information suggests that the chopper crashed during a routine training mission. A press release from the US European Command clarified that the mishap occurred during a standard air refueling exercise, leading to the aircraft plunging into the sea and the unfortunate deaths of the five servicemen on board. 

The Command’s statement further declared that immediate search and rescue endeavors were activated post-crash, with a comprehensive investigation into the cause being initiated. Two unidentified US officers confirmed that the fallen servicemen were part of the US Army’s elite special operations unit. 

US Navy offers new MH-60S's maritime strike capability with FVL
Photo by Christopher Lindahl

The official communications from the US European Command emphasized that the chopper’s mission was routine and unconnected to their current military engagement in the region. 

However, a Middle East analyst who spoke anonymously to an Asian media speculated that the chopper could have been conducting a mission against Iranian militias or aligning with Israel’s objectives. The expert stressed that there’s no way to verify this at present but if true, this would result in the first US casualty related to the Israel-Hamas conflict. 

Despite the US military refraining from providing specifics on the helicopter’s departure location, it’s known that the Ford and Eisenhower aircraft carriers, auxiliary vessels, myriad aircraft, and numerous marines are currently stationed in the Eastern Mediterranean. 

Social media became a hub of speculation with the news of the crash, with many netizens and military enthusiasts suggesting the ill-fated aircraft may have been an MH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. 

Questioning the cause, some wondered why such a mission was necessary, particularly as US forces stationed across the Middle East continue to face attacks from regional adversaries. 

At the moment, the link between these regional attacks and the recent crash remains unverified. There is an observable increase in aggressive activities against US forces in the Middle East, with over 40 attacks reported since mid-October, predominantly in Iraq and Syria, all presumably orchestrated by Iran and its proxies. 

The US military has been proactive in dealing with these attacks. The US Department of Defense declared on November 12, the same day as the crash, that they had accurately targeted facilities in Eastern Syria, used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC] and allied groups. These strikes were in retaliation to the ongoing strikes on US personnel in Iraq and Syria. 

The statement emphasized that the President’s utmost priority is the safety of US personnel, affirming the US’s commitment to defending itself, its people, and its interests. This marked the third strike within a fortnight. 

Earlier, the USS Carney, a US Navy guided-missile destroyer in the northern Red Sea, neutralized several missiles and drones purportedly launched by the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen, which were reportedly aimed at Israel. 

In summary, the region’s US troops continue to be susceptible to attacks from Iran-supported militant groups who criticize the US’s support of Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza. Despite these threats, the Pentagon has strengthened its Middle East activities to prevent further escalation. 

Meanwhile, Iran has raised its stakes against the US due to Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza, presenting fresh challenges for US military strategies in the region.

IRGC photographed the US aircraft carrier

On November 5, a video surfaced alleging that the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC] successfully photographed the US aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower [CVN 69] as it entered the region. 

Research conducted by several media identified a similar video posted in 2019, indicating it’s probable the current video is merely a reproduction devoid of original context that’s been disseminated across social media. 

The video, sporting the logo of Iran’s Tasnim News Agency, initiates with an image of the Ababil III drone situated on a taxiway. Subsequently, it shows the drone launching from the taxiway and nearing the US Carrier, reportedly navigating the Persian Gulf region. Nevertheless, the video neglects to reveal the precise location of the American ship. 

Accompanied by stimulating background music, the video presents an aerial view of the carrier, presumably captured by the Ababil III drone. As depicted in the video below, the IRGC and its drone procure extremely detailed images of the carrier deck cluttered with several fighter jets. Interestingly, the footage also showcases specific identifiers on the jets stationed on the carrier. 

Features in the video also include IRGC crew members who seem to oversee the surveillance mission, maneuver the Ababil III drone, and observe the US carrier and its deck in real time. The video offers a comprehensive view of the majority of warplanes docked on the deck. According to IRGC’s declaration, the drone eluded detection by the US troops until mission completion. 

The video’s rapid spread across social media sparked conversations among Iran supporters, speculating that if the drone could secretly photograph the deck, it could theoretically execute an attack. However, there are no news stories related to this incident, and neither party has issued a statement. 

While some tension remains in the Mediterranean, US forces continue to face criticism. Unrest springs from the Israeli Defense Forces’ airstrikes and subsequent entry into Gaza, coupled with active military and diplomatic backing from the United States.

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