- Five American troops, as well as two foreign military personnel, were killed when a helicopter assigned to an international peacekeeping force crashed off the coast of Egypt.
- President-elect Joe Biden issued a statement on Twitter extending “deep condolences to the loved ones of the peacekeepers.”
- President Donald Trump, on the other hand, appeared to have not said anything about the crash as of Thursday afternoon and instead focused on criticising Fox News and complaining about the election he lost.
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Five American service members were killed when their helicopter crashed Thursday. President-elect Joe Biden expressed his condolences. President Donald Trump, on the other hand, complained about Fox News.
A helicopter assigned to the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) crashed near Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt, killing seven, including one French service member and one Czech.
One US service member survived and was medically evacuated.
An earlier MFO report said six Americans had been killed in the incident, which is why some statements issued on that matter say six Americans are dead. That count was revised by MFO Thursday afternoon.
Hours after news of the crash broke, Trump was frequently retweeting criticisms of Fox News. He then tweeted out his own criticism of the conservative network.
That tweet was followed by one alleging election fraud, a common theme of many of the president’s recent tweets in the wake of Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
As of Thursday afternoon, Insider was unable to find a public statement from the president on the tragedy hours before.
Biden expressed his condolences in a short statement on Twitter. His son Beau Biden served in the National Guard and deployed to Iraq before he died of brain cancer.
I extend my deep condolences to the loved ones of the peacekeepers, including 6 American service members, who died on Tiran Island, and wish a speedy recovery to the surviving American. I join all Americans in honoring their sacrifice, as I keep their loved ones in my prayers.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 12, 2020
In the wake of the crash, acting Secretary of Defence Chris Miller, who replaced Mark Esper after he was fired by the president on Monday, issued a statement on the tragic crash.
“The Defence Department is deeply saddened by the loss of six U.S. and two partner nation service members in a helicopter crash in the Sinai Peninsula operating with the United Nations Multinational Force and Observers (MFO),” Miller said in a statement issued before the updated casualty count.
“Yesterday we recognised the sacrifice of millions of American veterans who have defended our nation for generations, and today we are tragically reminded of the last full measure our uniformed warriors may pay for their service,” he said. “I extend the Department’s condolences to the families, friends and teammates of these service members.”
MFO, which enforces a 40-year-old peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, is investigating the cause of the crash, though a mechanical failure is believed to be to blame.
Update: This post has been updated. A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the number killed in the crash due to an erroneous statement by MFO. The latest MFO statement reports five US troops were killed in the crash.
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