The US European Command (EUCOM) announced that five American service members were killed in a military aircraft crash during a training exercise in the Mediterranean. EUCOM did not provide specific details about the type of plane or its origin, but the United States had deployed a carrier strike group to the area in response to efforts to prevent the Israel-Hamas conflict from escalating into a regional conflict.
The crash occurred during a routine air refuelling mission as part of military training, resulting in the tragic deaths of all five service members onboard the aircraft. President Joe Biden paid tribute to the victims, emphasizing the bravery and selflessness of the nation’s service members.
Following an attack from Gaza that killed approximately 1,200 people, mostly civilians, Washington provided military support to Israel and increased its forces in the region. The conflict has also led to a rise in attacks targeting US forces, with over 40 incidents occurring since mid-October. Washington has attributed this violence to Tehran-backed groups and conducted three strikes against sites in Syria.
In recent years, there have been several other crashes involving US military aircraft, including an F-35 stealth warplane in September and two US Army helicopters in March. Additionally, four US Marines were killed in a crash during Nato exercises in Norway last year.