Two US troops killed, 1 wounded fighting IS in Afghanistan
Washington (AFP) – Two US troops were killed and another wounded while fighting an Islamic State group affiliate in Afghanistan, the US military said Thursday.
US Forces-Afghanistan said the troops “came under attack during a raid against insurgents in Nangarhar province” late Wednesday.
The troops were working with partnered Afghan soldiers in the raid against IS Khorasan, a local offshoot of the jihadist group based in Iraq and Syria.
“The fight against ISIS-K is important for the world, but sadly, it is not without sacrifice,” said US Forces-Afghanistan chief General John Nicholson, using the military’s name for IS Khorasan.
America has about 8,400 troops in Afghanistan. Most are part of a NATO mission to train and advise Afghan partner forces.
But about 2,150 of these troops work in a counterterrorism role and are more likely to be engaged in actual combat.
US Forces-Afghanistan did not immediately provide additional information ahead of notification of the dead troops’ next of kin.
An American special forces soldier was killed while conducting operations against IS in Nangarhar on April 8.
The US military this month dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb it has ever used in combat, hitting IS positions in a remote area of eastern Nangarhar province.
The deployment of the so-called Mother Of All Bombs (MOAB) killed at least 95 jihadists, according to the Afghan defense ministry, but fighting in the region has continued.
IS, notorious for its reign of terror in Syria and Iraq, has made inroads into Afghanistan in recent years, attracting disaffected members of the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban as well as Uzbek Islamists.
But the group has steadily lost ground in the face of heavy pressure both from US air strikes and a ground offensive led by Afghan forces.