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The Latest | Iran’s president, foreign minister and others are found dead at helicopter crash site
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The Latest | Iran’s president, foreign minister and others are found dead at helicopter crash site

  • PublishedMay 20, 2024



Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the country’s foreign minister and others have been found dead at the site of a helicopter crash after an hourslong search through a foggy, mountainous region of the country’s northwest, state media reported.

State TV gave no immediate cause for the crash in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province. With Raisi were Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, the governor of Iran’s East Azerbaijan province and other officials and bodyguards, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.

Turkish authorities early Monday released what they described as drone footage showing what appeared to be a fire in the wilderness that they “suspected to be wreckage of a helicopter.” The coordinates listed in the footage put the fire some 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of the Azerbaijan-Iranian border on the side of a steep mountain.

Footage released by the IRNA early Monday showed what the agency described as the crash site, across a steep valley in a green mountain range. Soldiers speaking in the local Azeri language said: “There it is, we found it.” Shortly after, state TV in an on-screen scrolling text said: “There is no sign of life from people on board.”

Currently:

— Iran’s president, foreign minister and others found dead at helicopter crash site, state media says

What do we know so far about the mysterious crash of the helicopter carrying Iran’s president?

— Helicopter crash could reverberate across the Middle East, where Iran’s influence runs wide and deep

Who is Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s president whose helicopter suffered a ‘hard landing’ in foggy weather?

Follow AP’s coverage of Iran: https://apnews.com/hub/iran

Here’s the latest:

HOUTHI LEADER IN YEMEN MOURNS IRANIAN PRESIDENT’S DEATH

CAIRO — A Houthi leader in Yemen on Monday mourned the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and other senior officials who were killed in a helicopter crash.

“Our deepest condolences to the Iranian people and the Iranian leadership and to the families of the president and the accompanying delegation,” Mohamed Ali al-Houthi, the head of the Houthis’ Supreme Revolutionary Committees. “The Iranian people will continue to have leaders loyal to their people, God willing.”

Iran is the main backer of the Houthis in their yearslong war against Yemen’s internationally recognized government, which is backed by a Saudi-led military coalition.

IRAN’S PRESIDENT, FOREIGN MINISTER AND OTHERS FOUND DEAD AT HELICOPTER CRASH SITE

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the country’s foreign minister and others have been found dead at the site of a helicopter crash after an hourslong search through a foggy, mountainous region of the country’s northwest, state media reported.

State TV gave no immediate cause for the crash in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province. With Raisi were Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, the governor of Iran’s East Azerbaijan province and other officials and bodyguards, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.

Turkish authorities early Monday released what they described as drone footage showing what appeared to be a fire in the wilderness that they “suspected to be wreckage of a helicopter.” The coordinates listed in the footage put the fire some 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of the Azerbaijan-Iranian border on the side of a steep mountain.

Footage released by the IRNA early Monday showed what the agency described as the crash site, across a steep valley in a green mountain range. Soldiers speaking in the local Azeri language said: “There it is, we found it.”

Shortly after, state TV in an on-screen scrolling text said: “There is no sign of life from people on board.” It did not elaborate, but the semiofficial Tasnim news agency showed rescuers using a small drone to fly over the site, with them speaking among themselves saying the same thing.

HELICOPTER CRASH COULD REVERBERATE ACROSS THE MIDDLE EAST

JERUSALEM — The crash of a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the country’s foreign minister and other officials is likely to reverberate across the Middle East.

That’s because Iran has spent decades supporting armed groups in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and the Palestinian territories that allow it to project power and potentially deter attacks from the United States or Israel, the sworn enemies of its 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Tensions have never been higher than they were last month, when Iran under Raisi and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei launched hundreds of drones and ballistic missiles at Israel in response to an airstrike on an Iranian Consulate in Syria that killed two Iranian generals and five officers.

Israel, with the help of the U.S., Britain, Jordan and others, intercepted nearly all the projectiles. In response, Israel apparently launched its own strike against an air defense radar system in the Iranian city of Isfahan, causing no casualties but sending an unmistakable message.

The sides have waged a shadow war of covert operations and cyberattacks for years, but the exchange of fire in April was their first direct military confrontation.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.



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