A US Navy helicopter crashed on Thursday in Oman during a transport mission, and the fate of its five-member crew is unknown, the US military said, ruling out an attack.
The MH-53E Sea Dragon, used for long-range mine sweeping, crashed 58 miles (90 kilometers) southwest of the Omani capital Muscat "while conducting heavy lift support operations," the Bahrain-based US Fifth Fleet said.
The Fifth Fleet monitors the waters of the Gulf and keeps an eye on Iran.
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"The crash was not due to any sort of hostile activity and the status of the five crew members is still being determined," the statement said.
Another MH-53E was on the scene to assist the search and rescue operation.
The US Navy has boosted its mine-sweeping operations in recent weeks in response to Iran's repeated threats to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of the world's traded oil passes.
It was not immediately clear whether the helicopter that crashed, assigned to Helicopter Mine Countermeasure Squadron 15, was part of the reinforcements.