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Two MQ-1 Predator drones crashed within three days in Iraq and Turkey, a spokesman for U.S. operations against the Islamic State said Wednesday.

The first Predator went down southeast of Baghdad after its crew reported a “lost link” with the aircraft, Army Col. Steven Warren told reporters at a news briefing at the Pentagon.

“The drone was recovered by local Iraqi police in the vicinity of Al Kut,” Warren said via teleconference from Baghdad. “The local police returned it to coalition control. There were no injuries. An investigation as to the cause is underway.”

The second Predator crashed in southern Turkey on Oct. 19 due to a mechanical failure, Warren said. The Air Force was able to maintain contact with the aircraft and land it in an unpopulated area without injuring anyone on the ground, he said. U.S. and Turkish officials have the Predator and the cause of the crash is under investigation.

The Predator is an older, remotely piloted aircraft that the Air Force is replacing with the MQ-9 Reaper. So far this year, at least five Predators have been lost.

In May, a Predator went down when it was conducting launch and recovery training operations at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, due to an engine turbocharger failure.

In March, a drone crashed while flying over northwest Syria. Another aircraft went down in June during a combat mission over Iraq.

Separately, a Reaper also crashed over international waters in February due to a generator problem and electrical failure.

Email: lseligman@defensenews.com

Twitter: @laraseligman

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