'Friendly Fire' Possible Cause Of Ranger Deaths In Afghanistan, DoD Says

news

The Pentagon on Friday announced a 15-6 investigation into the deaths of two Army Rangers killed in a firefight with ISIS forces in Afghanistan on April 27, citing a possible "friendly fire" incident.


The two Rangers were killed in eastern Nangarhar province, near the same area the U.S. Air Force dropped the 21,600-pound Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb on April 13.

According to Army Times, the Rangers had partnered with local Afghan security forces for a crucial raid as part of a larger campaign to root out and neutralize pockets of ISIS fighters throughout the region.

"In the beginning of what was an intense three-hour firefight, it is possible these Rangers were struck by friendly fire," Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said.

[embed][/embed]

[embed][/embed]

U.S. Forces Afghanistan also released a detailed statement describing the circumstances of the firefight and lauding both the Rangers and Afghan Special Security Forces for their "exemplary" performance:

Within a few minutes of landing, our combined force came under intense fire from multiple directions and well-prepared fighting positions. Nevertheless, our forces successfully closed on the enemy, killed several high-level ISIS-K leaders and upwards of 35 fighters. If confirmed, the death of the Emir and his associated will significantly degrade ISIS-K operations in Afghanistan and help reach our goal of destroying them in 2017.

Based on our reports from forces on the ground, the engagement was close-quarters from multiple compounds. Air strikes were used in self-defense to enable our operations and to medically evacuate the wounded Rangers. We do not have any indication there were civilian casualties as a result of this operation.

The Rangers killed were identified by the Pentagon as Sgt. Joshua P. Rodgers, 22, and Sgt. Cameron H. Thomas, 23. Both soldiers were assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment out of  Fort Benning, Georgia.

Photo via DoD
(Reuters/Carlos Barria)

WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.

Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."

"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.

Read More Show Less
(DoD/Sgt. Amber I. Smith)

President Donald Trump may have loved to call former Secretary of Defense James Mattis by his much-loathed "Mad Dog" nickname, but his own transition team had concerns regarding the former Marine general's infamous battlefield missives and his lackluster handling of alleged war crimes committed by U.S. service members, according to leaked vetting documents.

Read More Show Less

Beloved readers: It's been a rough week inside the Five-Sided Fun House as it looked like the United States and Iran were on a collision course until President Donald Trump aborted planned air and missile strikes at the eleventh hour.

As your beleaguered friend and narrator writes this, the Pentagon has not scheduled any briefings about how close the U.S. military was to attacking Iran, or even if those strikes have been called off or are on hold.

It would be nice to know whether we are at war or not. One would think the headquarters of the U.S. military would be a good place to find out. But the Trump administration has one spokesman: the president himself. His tweets have replaced Pentagon's briefings as the primary source for military news.

Read More Show Less
(DoD/Petty Officer William Selby)

Former Army Gen. David Petraeus, the former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan who resigned in disgrace as CIA director amid revelations of an extramarital affairs, was passed over by then-president-elect Donald Trump's transition team because of his criticism of torture, according to leaked vetting documents.

Read More Show Less