U.S troops killed during a firefight in Afghanistan

"Numerous U.S troops were killed Saturday during a firefight in Afghanistan, according to the New York Times.

A military source, speaking to Military Times on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to talk to the media, said at least two members of the 7th Special Forces Group — operating in eastern Afghanistan — were killed and several others wounded.

U.S. officials told Military Times they could not immediately confirm reports about casualties. However, an official did say that the U.S. and Afghan forces conducting an operation in Nangarhar Province were engaged by direct fire on Saturday, according Col. Sonny Leggett, a spokesman for U.S. Forces–Afghanistan.

“We are assessing the situation and will provide further updates as they become available,” he said in an emailed statement Saturday.

Officials declined to offer specifics, including reports about U.S. troop deaths.

The New York Times reporter said on social media that the incident may have involved a so-called “green on blue” attack, meaning the attackers may have been friendly forces or extremists posing as friendly forces.

One official told the Agence France-Press that the attack happened in the Shirzad district military headquarters and that foreign forces had cordoned off the area. “Several helicopters landed in and departed from the HQ compound taking out casualties. We don’t know how many killed or wounded," the official told AFP.

For years Nangarhar Province has been a haven for the Islamic State group’s faction in Afghanistan. The Taliban also operates in the area.

President Donald Trump reiterated Tuesday in the annual State of the Union speech his desire to bring troops home from Afghanistan and end the wars in the Middle East.

Afghanistan’s elite special operations unit to get CH-47 helicopters

“In Afghanistan, the determination and valor of our warfighters has allowed us to make tremendous progress, and peace talks are underway,” he said. “I am not looking to kill hundreds of thousands of people in Afghanistan, many of them innocent. It is also not our function to serve other nations as a law enforcement agency.”

There are roughly 13,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has said the Pentagon may reduce the American footprint in the country to 8,600 with or without a deal with the Taliban.

Peace talks with the Taliban are ongoing, but definitions over reduced violence and a cease-fire continue to bog down the talks. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he wants “demonstrable evidence” that the Taliban can carry through on their promise to reduce violence in the country, according to the Associated Press."

Quoted article from Military Times, article linked below.


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