2 U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan

Kabul — Two American service members have been killed throughout an operation in Afghanistan on Friday, the U.S. and NATO forces stated, offering no different particulars.

The fatalities, which convey to 4 the variety of U.S. troops killed up to now this yr in Afghanistan, underscore the difficulties in bringing peace to the war-wrecked nation whilst Washington has stepped up efforts to discover a solution to finish the 17-year conflict, America’s longest.

The U.S. and NATO Resolute Assist mission stated the names of the service members killed in motion have been being withheld till after notification of the subsequent of kin, in accordance with U.S. Division of Protection coverage. The assertion additionally didn’t specify the placement of the fight or say who the troopers have been preventing.

“The incident is below investigation and we’ve no further info to offer,” stated Sgt. 1st Class Debra Richardson, a Resolute Assist spokeswoman.

There are about 14,000 U.S. forces in Afghanistan, supporting embattled Afghan forces as they battle on two fronts – dealing with a resurgent Taliban, who now maintain sway over virtually half the nation, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) affiliate, which has sought to broaden its footprint in Afghanistan even as its self-proclaimed “caliphate” has crumbled in Syria and Iraq.

In 2001, after the Sept. 11 assaults on New York and Washington, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan and ousted the ruling Taliban regime in a matter of weeks. However the Taliban subsequently regrouped whereas Washington shifted its consideration to Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, and by 2009, the conflict had change into a stalemate.

The Pentagon has just lately been developing plans to withdraw up to half of the American forces still in the country whereas on the identical time stepping up efforts and having the U.S. negotiate with the Taliban.

U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, the Trump administration’s fundamental negotiator with the Taliban, concluded earlier this month a 13-day marathon session with leaders of the rebel group.

Following the talks, held in Qatar the place the Taliban preserve an workplace, Khalilzad stated the 2 sides reached two “draft agreements” masking the withdrawal of U.S. troops and ensures that Afghanistan wouldn’t revert to a haven for terrorists.

However he was unable to influence the Taliban to launch talks with the Afghan authorities. The Taliban have persistently refused to speak with the federal government in Kabul, describing it as a U.S. puppet.

The 2 sides appear to be in settlement in regards to the withdrawal of American forces, however divided over the timeline and whether or not a residual American power would stay.

Final yr, 13 U.S. service members have been killed in Afghanistan.

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