Five American military personnel have been killed in a military plane crash over the eastern Mediterranean Sea during a training exercise.
The US European Command (EUCOM) on Sunday said all five crew members were killed when the aircraft went down on Friday evening “during a routine air refuelling mission as part of military training.”
The military first announced the crash on Saturday and said the cause is under investigation, but there were no indications of any hostile activity involved. It said on Sunday that “search and rescue efforts began immediately, including nearby US military aircraft and ships”.
Washington rushed military support to Israel and bolstered its forces in the region – including with the USS Gerald R Ford aircraft carrier and other warships – after Hamas, the group that rules the Gaza Strip, carried out a surprise cross-border attack on October 7 that Israeli officials say killed about 1,200 people.
Israel’s military responded with a relentless air, land and naval assault on Gaza that has killed more than 11,000 people in what independent observers have termed a genocide.
The US forces in the region have also faced a spike in attacks linked to the conflict in recent weeks and have been targeted more than 40 times since mid-October, leaving several American personnel with injuries.