The initial images of a critically damaged Israeli heavy-lift helicopter have emerged on social media, allegedly brought down by Hamas militants.
The wreckage visible in the photos is believed to be that of an Israeli CH-53 Yasur helicopter, which fell victim to an unexpected attack launched by Hamas militants from the Gaza Strip. This incident unfolded when the Yasur helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing, only to be struck by a powerful anti-tank guided missile fired by the militant group.
Local media reports suggest that no fatalities resulted from this encounter.
The Yasur helicopters, which have served in the Israeli military for over half a century, have encountered several maintenance issues in recent years, leading to temporary grounding periods. They are slated for replacement in the near future.
Notably, in February 2021, Israel initiated a procurement program to phase out its aging CH-53 Yasur helicopters, aiming to equip its military with more modern and reliable alternatives.