- Associated Press - Friday, June 26, 2015

DOUGLAS, Ariz. (AP) - Officials say the body of an Iraqi pilot who had been training in the United States and crashed in southern Arizona has been located.

Iraq’s Defense Ministry said on Friday that search teams found the body of Brig. Gen. Rasid Mohammed Sadeeq at the crash site 5 miles from the Douglas Municipal Airport.

On Thursday, a defense ministry official gave a different name for the killed pilot, identifying him as Brig. Gen. Rafid Mohammed Hassan. The ministry on Friday had no explanation for the conflicting names, although it’s common for Iraqis to have two last names.

Sadeeq was on a night training mission with the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing on Wednesday when his plane went down around 8 p.m.

The 162nd Wing conducts international F-16 pilot training from Tucson International Airport as well as reconnaissance missions from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Sadeeq had been training in the U.S. for four years and was the only person on board the plane.

“Our hearts are with (Sadeeq’s) family, friends and countrymen,” Col. Phil Purcell, commander of the 162nd Wing, said in a statement.

Sadeeq’s “efforts in the defense of his nation should be commended,” Purcell said.

U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona also expressed condolences, saying Sadeeq “will be remembered by his commitment to the defense of Iraq and its people.”

Authorities have not said what caused the crash, and an investigation is ongoing.

Authorities struggled to find Sadeeq’s body for about a day following the crash.

The Cochise County Sheriff’s Office initially said that a gas line had been ruptured. Spokeswoman Carol Capas said Friday that report was wrong.



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