SDF fighters killed in helicopter crash repatriated to Rojava

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — The helicopter crash that claimed the lives of nine Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters last week, has left the region in mourning. On Tuesday, the bodies of the fallen soldiers were repatriated to northeastern Syria (Rojava).

They were met by thousands of mourners who had gathered in Hasaka province to pay their respects on Wednesday. The funeral ceremony was attended by several high-ranking officials from both Rojava and the Kurdistan Region.

The SDF announced the deaths of the nine fighters last Friday, revealing that they had been on their way to Sulaimani in the Kurdistan Region to exchange security and military expertise, with the cause of the crash was attributed to sever weather conditions.

The US has denied any involvement in the incident. Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters on Tuesday that the United States had nothing to do with the SDF helicopter flights.

“We do partner with the SDF on Defeat ISIS operations regularly, but again, there was no US or coalition involvement in the helicopter incident, nor do we have any knowledge either before that mission took place,” Ryder said.

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