BY ALEXANDER MALODONES ESPN CRIODELO A firefighting helicopter crashed in the area of Maramal, an Islamic State stronghold in northern Syria, killing all three crew members.

The crash occurred Friday morning at around 5:00am local time (7:00pm GMT) and the bodies of the two pilots and the pilot of the firefighting aircraft were recovered, a statement from the Turkish-Syrian border town of Maraman said.

The incident occurred when the helicopter was trying to drop a firefighting spray to put out an area of fire in an area where Islamic State fighters had taken refuge.

The Turkish-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been battling to liberate the area from the militants for weeks.SDF officials have previously said that the SDF has killed about 2,000 Islamic State militants in the fight for Maram al-Sham.