WASHINGTON, March 9- A U.S. military aircraft with four crew members crashed in Iraq on Saturday, but none were injured and initial reports ruled out hostile action, a Defense Department official said on Tuesday.
Earlier on Tuesday, the top U.S. Navy admiral told the Washington Post that Navy helicopters rescued four crew members on Saturday after an emergency landing by a U.S. Army reconnaissance plane.
The rescue mission was launched from Irbil in northern Iraq, Admiral John Richardson said, according to the newspaper.
“They were up, airborne and at the location of the accident within four minutes of the alert. That was pretty good timing,” Richardson was quoted as saying.
The plane was a twin turboprop, fixed-wing aircraft and the cause of the crash was under investigation, the Defense Department official said in a statement.
U.S. military commanders added more search and rescue teams to northern Iraq last year after a Jordanian fighter pilot’s jet crashed and he was captured, tortured and killed by Daesh militants.