US Says it Was 'Unable' to Provide Iran Assistance after Helicopter Crash

People pray for President Ebrahim Raisi in a ceremony at Vali-e-Asr square in downtown Tehran, Iran, Sunday, May 19, 2024. © Vahid Salemi, AP
People pray for President Ebrahim Raisi in a ceremony at Vali-e-Asr square in downtown Tehran, Iran, Sunday, May 19, 2024. © Vahid Salemi, AP
TT

US Says it Was 'Unable' to Provide Iran Assistance after Helicopter Crash

People pray for President Ebrahim Raisi in a ceremony at Vali-e-Asr square in downtown Tehran, Iran, Sunday, May 19, 2024. © Vahid Salemi, AP
People pray for President Ebrahim Raisi in a ceremony at Vali-e-Asr square in downtown Tehran, Iran, Sunday, May 19, 2024. © Vahid Salemi, AP

The United States on Monday said it had been unable, due largely to logistical reasons, to accept an Iranian request for assistance following a helicopter crash over the weekend that killed President Ebrahim Raisi, as Washington offered its condolences.

The rare request from Iran, which views the United States and Israel as its main adversaries, was disclosed by the State Department at a news briefing.

"We were asked for assistance by the Iranian government. We did make clear to them that we would offer assistance, as we would do in response to any request by a foreign government in this sort of situation," spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters.

"Ultimately, largely for logistical reasons, we were unable to provide that assistance," Miller said, without elaborating, Reuters reported.

The charred wreckage of the helicopter which crashed on Sunday carrying Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and six other passengers and crew, was found early on Monday after an overnight search in blizzard conditions.

Asked whether he was concerned that Tehran might blame Washington, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said: "The United States had no part to play in that crash."

"I can't speculate on what may have been the cause," he added.

Still, Austin played down any US concerns that the crash might have immediate security implications in the Middle East.

"I don't necessarily see any broader, regional security impact at this point," he said.



Agricultural Fire That Killed 12 in Southeast Türkiye under Control, Media Says

A handout photo made available by the Diyarbakir Municipality shows a view of the burned lands after a stubble fire at Diyarbakir, Türkiye, 21 June 2024. (EPA/ Diyarbakir Municipality)
A handout photo made available by the Diyarbakir Municipality shows a view of the burned lands after a stubble fire at Diyarbakir, Türkiye, 21 June 2024. (EPA/ Diyarbakir Municipality)
TT

Agricultural Fire That Killed 12 in Southeast Türkiye under Control, Media Says

A handout photo made available by the Diyarbakir Municipality shows a view of the burned lands after a stubble fire at Diyarbakir, Türkiye, 21 June 2024. (EPA/ Diyarbakir Municipality)
A handout photo made available by the Diyarbakir Municipality shows a view of the burned lands after a stubble fire at Diyarbakir, Türkiye, 21 June 2024. (EPA/ Diyarbakir Municipality)

Turkish authorities have brought under control an agricultural fire that killed 12 people and wounded 78 others in a region near the Turkish border with Syria and Iraq, local media reported on Saturday.

The fire had started late on Thursday due to the burning of straw and spread because of strong winds, the local governor's office said. Authorities have launched an investigation into the cause of the fire, Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc said in a post on X on Friday.

Broadcaster NTV and others said the fire was now under control and authorities were working to cool the scorched areas. NTV said many animals trapped in the fire were also killed.

Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said late on Friday that the treatment of the wounded was still underway, with some in critical condition.

"We are continuing the treatment and monitoring of five of our wounded. Three of our five wounded receiving treatment in Diyarbakir are intubated," Koca said on X.

Burning straw is a common practice by farmers and villagers in central Anatolia following harvest periods.