A U.S. military drone crashed in southern Iraq on Wednesday while it was conducting a surveillance mission against Islamic State fighters, military officials have confirmed.
The drone appears to have been crashed due to mechanical problems, said Army Capt. John Moore, a military spokesman in Kuwait. It was not brought down by fire from Islamic State fighters, said Navy Cdr. Elissa Smith, a Pentagon spokeswoman.
The wreckage of the aircraft and its components have been recovered, he said. Moore declined to describe the forces who retrieved the wreckage or the type of drone it was, citing operational security concerns.
The Air Force flies about 65 round-the-clock patrols with drones, which include the Predator and its larger, more lethal cousin, the Reaper.
In March, the Air Force lost a Predator drone in Syria. Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad shot the slow-flying aircraft down after it strayed into airspace off limits to the U.S.-led coalition that is hitting ISIL targets there.
More often than not, however, drones are lost because of mechanical problems or bad weather, said Loren Thompson, a defence industry consultant and military analyst with the Lexington Institute.
Source: USA Today