09242017Headline:

U.S. Air Force drone crashes in northern Syria

An MQ-9 Reaper drone operated by the U.S. Air Force has crashed in northern Syria, though there is no evidence that the aircraft was shot down, military officials say. There have been no reports of injuries.

The incident happened on Tuesday when the unmanned aircraft went down while flying a combat mission over northern Syria. Details about the mission were not disclosed, and there was no word on the exact location of the crash.

"The aircraft was flying a combat mission when positive control of the aircraft was lost," U.S. Air Forces Central Command said in a brief statement. It added that the drone was destroyed by coalition aircraft to prevent it from falling into enemy hands.

"The remotely piloted aircraft crash was not due to enemy fire," the statement said, adding that an investigation board will be convened to determine the specific cause of the crash.

The U.S. Air Force said there were no reports of civilian injuries or damage to civilian property as a result of the crash.

The "Reaper" was the U.S. Air Force's first hunter-killer drone when it was introduced in 2006 and is designed to go after time-sensitive targets. The drone is capable of striking targets with 500-pound bombs as well as Hellfire missiles.

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