A coalition airstrike destroys an ISIS-K fighting position during Afghan Commando offensive operations in Mohmand Valley, Nangarhar province on Feb. 4, 2018. (U.S. Army/Spc. Jacob Krone)
Afghan and Western military officials believe that ISIS is nearing defeat in Afghanistan following a weeks-long assault on the terror group's main bastion in the eastern part of the country, the New York Times reports.
U.S. Army Special Forces and Afghan commandos have captured a major ISIS stronghold in Afghanistan, defense officials told Stars and Stripes on Saturday, effectively depriving the terror group of its local capital in one of the largest joint operations ever conducted between U.S. and Afghan special operations forces.
The U.S. military Tuesday morning announced the death of a service member in a firefight that injured four more American troops in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province on Jan. 1 — the first U.S. combat fatality of 2018, and a stark reminder of the challenges facing U.S. troops in the year ahead.
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 head of the U.S. Special Operations Command, Army Gen. Raymond A. Thomas III, told a gathering of government officials, security experts, and journalists over the weekend that SOCOM is “anxious to finish” its mission in Afghanistan so the elite command can focus more on preparing for operations elsewhere — an idea that seems almost ludicrously hopeful in light of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ recent (and very accurate) assessment that the Afghan War has reached a stalemate and the “enemy is surging.”