Five U.S. service members were killed after a military aircraft crash over the Mediterranean Sea on Friday, American officials announced on Sunday.
“On the evening of November 10, a U.S. military aircraft conducting training operations in the eastern Mediterranean suffered a mishap and went down,” U.S. European Command said in a statement.
U.S. European Command did not share what type of aircraft was involved in the incident, nor the names of the dead or what branch of the military in which they served.
“Out of respect for the families affected, we will not release further information on the personnel involved at this time,” the statement said.
“The cause of the training incident is currently under investigation,” it added. “However, we can definitively say that the aircraft sortie was purely related to training and there are no indications of hostile activity.”
The “mishap” comes as the U.S. military has deployed carrier strike groups to the Eastern Mediterranean amid heightened tensions in the region as Israel fights Hamas in the Gaza Strip after the group’s terrorist attacks on Israeli soil last month.
In addition, the Pentagon has reported at least 56 U.S. troops have been injured by drone attacks in Syria and Iraq since mid-October.
President Joe Biden released a statement on Sunday calling the Mediterranean Sea incident a “crash” and saying that he and first lady Jill Biden mourned the loss of the five U.S. service members.
“Our service members put their lives on the line for our country every day. They willingly take risks to keep the American people safe and secure. And their daily bravery and selflessness is an enduring testament to what is best in our nation,” Biden said.
“Jill and I are praying for the families and friends who have lost a precious loved one — a piece of their soul,” he added. “Our entire nation shares their grief. And, during this weekend when we pause to honor our nation’s veterans, we once more affirm the sacred obligation we bear to those who volunteer to serve our nation as well as their families, caregivers, and survivors. We pray for the families of all our fallen warriors today and every day.”