Source AP ©

F-16 crashes in Iraq

A U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jet crashed early Friday morning in Iraq while supporting a ground forces operation.

The announcement, which referred to the 12:27 a.m. crash as an accident, did not say where it occurred or what happened to the pilot, the single crew member.

The loss of an F-16, a workhorse warplane in the Iraq war, is a rare event. One crashed last Nov. 27 in the western province of Anbar, killing the pilot.

The jet was deployed to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing at Balad Air Base, 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Baghdad.

"The cause of the accident is under investigation," said the statement from the Central Command Air Forces, which provided no further details.