“During a routine mission in the vicinity of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, nine members of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) were involved in a helicopter crash,” the MFO said in a statement issued on its website.
Six Americans were among the eight international peacekeepers killed when their helicopter crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. The international observer mission in the Sinai Peninsula said all indications are that the crash, which also left one American peacekeeper injured, was the result of an accident.
The peacekeepers are part of the international mission that oversees the enforcement of the 1978 Camp David Peace Accords between Egypt and Israel. “At this point, there is no information to indicate the crash was anything except an accident,” said the statement.
There are 452 U.S. military personnel among the force of 1,154 international peacekeepers that is part of the legacy mission in the Sinai Peninsula to enforce the 1978 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. The treaty called for an enduring observer mission to ensure Israel’s return of the peninsula to Egypt.
The Pentagon recently assessed whether to keep participating in the mission, but ultimately decided it was required under the treaty. Active-duty military personnel were assigned to the mission for decades, but in recent years it has been carried out by National Guardsmen.