8 members of peacekeeping force — 6 American, 1 French, 1 Czech — killed in helicopter crash in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula

CAIRO — Eight soldiers of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO), the peacekeeping mission overseeing the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, were killed in the Sinai Peninsula on Thursday when their helicopter crashed due to a technical failure.

While on a routine mission in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, the helicopter crashed in the Sharm el-Sheikh area, killing the soldiers and airmen aboard — six American, one French, and one Czech.

Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller offered his condolences to the families of the victims.

A statement from the MFO confirmed that an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the accident, noting that there is no reason to suspect the crash was anything more than an accident. The Czech Army and the Egyptian government have both stated that the cause of the crash was a technical failure.

At the time of the crash, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus offered to send an elite unit to assist in rescuing the wounded. One American wounded in the crash had been evacuated to a hospital in Israel but later died of his wounds.

After the signing of a peace agreement between Israel and Egypt in 1979, with the support of the United States, a multinational peacekeeping force made up of soldiers from 14 countries observed the peace agreement beginning in 1982.