An American service member was killed on Aug. 17 during a joint operation in eastern Afghanistan that also left an unknown number of U.S. and Afghan troops wounded, according to United States Forces-Afghanistan.
The fallen service member’s identity has not yet been released, nor have any details regarding the unit they belong to. But USFOR-A said in a statement that the incident occurred while U.S. and Afghan forces were conducting an operation “aimed at further reducing Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-Khorasan,” or ISIS-K, presence in Afghanistan.
While the bulk of the roughly 8,400 U.S. troops currently deployed to Afghanistan are focused on training and advising Afghan government forces battling the Taliban, a small contingent of American special operators have been waging a counterterrorism campaign in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan, where ISIS-K is entrenched.
The latest death brings the number of American service members killed while involved in the fight against ISIS-K this year to seven, and the total for U.S. troops killed in action in Afghanistan this year to 10. On Aug. 2, two American soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division died after their convoy was struck by a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.
USFOR said in a statement that efforts to notify the deceased service member’s next of kin are underway and wounded military personnel have been medically evacuated for treatment.
In what appear to be his first public remarks on U.S. national security since his resignation as Secretary of Defense, retired Marine Gen. James Mattis offered a word of caution to President Donald Trump amid escalating tensions with Iran on Tuesday.
"The United States should buy time to keep peace and stability and allow diplomats to work diplomacy on how to keep peace for one more hour, one more day, one more week, a month or a year," Mattis said during remarks in the United Arab Emirates.
"Iran's behavior must change," Mattis added, "[but] the military must work to buy time for diplomats to work their magic."
With the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a gaggle of B-52 Stratofortress bombers flexing their muscles in the Middle East, lawmakers are mounting yet another effort to repeal the post-9/11 legislation that could be used as a potential legal justification for a military conflict with Iran.
The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday voted along party lines to add an amendment to the annual defense budget that would roll back the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force that, passed just days after the September 11th attacks, provided a legislative blank check for the U.S. military to pursue terror groups around the world.