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US troops wiped out a contingent of Afghan security forces with an airstrike for the second time in a month
In a bizarre case of friendly fire, a contingent of U.S. and Afghan troops came under fire from another group of Afghan security forces before calling in air support in self-defense, a U.S. military spokesman told Task & Purpose on Wednesday.
The joint U.S.-Afghan force "came under effective fire" during a joint patrol in the country's Kunduz province, forcing them to request precision air support "to suppress the onslaught of machine gun fire," said Army Col. David Butler, a spokesman for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan.
As it turned out, the machine gun fire "was coming from another group of Afghan security forces," Butler said, killing an unspecified number of Afghan security forces personnel.
No U.S. troops were killed or wounded in the incident, Butler said, adding that the Pentagon plans on convening a joint investigation board to determine the details of the incident.
"This operation was extensively planned and coordinated with U.S. and Afghan security forces to prevent an event like this from occurring," Butler said. "We regret the tragic loss of our Afghan partners."
The incident comes less than a month after 18 Afghan police officers were killed by U.S. airstrikes in the Helmand province while coming to the defense of civilians during a Taliban attack.
The previous March, U.S. airstrikes "wiped out" a 17-man Afghan National Army outpost following a firefight that erupted after an Afghan military unit attacked a joint U.S.-Afghan convoy.
"This is an example of the fog of war," spokesman Sfc. Debra Richardson said at the time. "The U.S. conducted a precision self-defense airstrike on people who were firing at a partnered U.S.-Afghan force."
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A Minnesota Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with three Guardsmen aboard crashed south of St. Cloud on Thursday, said National Guard spokeswoman Army Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens.
At this time, the National Guard is not releasing any information about the status of the three people aboard the helicopter, Heusdens told Task & Purpose on Thursday.
A missing Canadian ex-soldier was reportedly smuggled across the US border and is hiding with a neo-Nazi group
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Former Canadian Army Reserve Master Cpl. Patrik Mathews, 26, was first identified as a member of The Base by Winnipeg Free Press reporter Ryan Thorpe.
Days after Thorpe's report was published, Mathews went missing and was discharged from the military for his alleged ties to the group. His car was found about 10 miles from the U.S. border soon thereafter, and police found a cache of weapons when they raided his home.
Vice reporters Ben Makuch, Mack Lamoureux, and Zachary Kamel, citing confidential sources, reported on Thursday that Mathews had been illegally smuggled across the border and is being hidden by members of The Base, which has operated in encrypted chatrooms as a largely online organization.
The Pentagon's latest attempt to twist itself in knots to deny that it is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East has a big caveat.
Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said there are no plans to send that many troops to the region "at this time."
Farah's statement does not rule out the possibility that the Defense Department could initially announce a smaller deployment to the region and subsequently announce that more troops are headed downrange.
The Navy could deploy a second carrier to the Middle East if Trump orders an Iran surge, top admiral says
The Navy could send a second aircraft carrier to the Middle East if President Donald Trump orders a surge of forces to the region, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said on Thursday.
Gordon Lubold and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal first reported the United States is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to deter Iran from attacking U.S. forces and regional allies. The surge forces could include several ships.
I didn't think a movie about World War I would, or even could, remind me of Afghanistan.
Somehow 1917 did, and that's probably the highest praise I can give Sam Mendes' newest war drama: It took a century-old conflict and made it relatable.