Iraq confirms its pilot died in Arizona military plane crash

AP News
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Posted: Jun 26, 2015 10:16 AM

BAGHDAD (AP) — The body of an Iraqi pilot whose military plane crashed during a training mission in the United States has been found at the crash site, Iraq's Defense Ministry said on Friday.

The ministry statement said search teams found the body of Brig. Gen. Rasid Mohammed Sadeeq at the crash site in southern Arizona.

He was the only person aboard when the F-16 Fighting Falcon plane went down during a Wednesday night training mission with the Arizona Air National Guard's 162nd Wing, the ministry said.

The crash site was 8 kilometers (5 miles) east of Douglas Municipal Airport, southeast of Tucson. A day earlier, a defense ministry official gave a different name for the killed pilot, identifying him as Brig. Gen. Rafid Mohammed Hassan.

The ministry on Friday had no explanation for the conflicting identities.

It said the death of Sadeeq would only make Iraqi security forces "more determined to defeat the forces of terrorism."

Iraq is expecting its first batch of F-16 fighter planes — along with Iraqi pilots trained in the United States — and spare parts this summer. Iraqi military has said the planes would be immediately used to carry out operations against the extremist Islamic State group.

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This story has been corrected to show the name of the pilot was Rasid Mohammed Sadeeq, not Rafid Mohammed Hassan.