A US Marine CH-53E Super Stallion (file photo of type below)
conducting routine passenger and cargo operations in Iraq's Anbar
province made a hard landing on Monday injuring 18 according to a
statement from the US military. Nine were treated and immediately
returned to duty.
This is the second recent accident involving a Marine helicopter
in the region. On December 3, a CH-46 Sea Knight made an emergency water
landing near the shore of Lake Qadisiyah killing four.
The military attributed the crash to mechanical difficulties.
Officials say Monday's incident did not appear to involve
The Anbar province is a hotbed of military activity for many
Sunni Arab insurgent groups. The region shares borders with Syria,
Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Those shared borders make it easy for
militants to enter the country making Anbar province very
attractive as a launching point for insurgent military
The region was also the site of last year's worst helicopter accident in
Iraq since the US invasion began. The January 2005
accident, also involving a CH-53E Super Stallion, killed thirty
marines and one sailor. The investigation continues into that
crash, but spokesmen have said they were unaware of any enemy
action that may have caused it.
Military officials haven't released the exact location of
Monday's hard landing saying the incident is still under