On Wednesday, the U.S. military announced two U.S. servicemembers had been killed in Afghanistan without any details surrounding the cause of their deaths.
Stars & Stripes reports the names of the individuals are being withheld from the public until 24 hours after next of kin have been notified of the loss, citing a statement from the U.S-led NATO Resolute Support mission.
According to the report, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the deaths announcing they ambushed the Americans in the Wardak province on the outskirts of Sayad Abad district.
Stars & Stripes reports:
News of the deaths comes about two months after three Marines assigned to 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division were killed in a car bombing outside Bagram Air Field. The April 8 incident, which happened only days before they were expected to return home from Afghanistan, wounded three other Americans, an Afghan contractor and five Afghan civilians.
The U.S. war in Afghanistan is now in its 18th year. Some 14,000 American troops are deployed there and are charged with two separate but related missions.
Some 8,500 are training and advising Afghan security forces in stabilizing the country and battling the Taliban insurgency as part of the U.S.-led NATO mission. The remainder are part of a bilateral counterterrorism operation against al-Qaida and Islamic State fighters.
More than 2,400 U.S. military personnel have been killed and more than 20,000 have been wounded since the beginning of the Afghan War in October 2001.
Wednesday’s deaths came one day after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on a visit to Kabul, said Washington is hopeful a peace agreement that will bring an end to the war in Afghanistan can be reached before Sept. 1.
When Secretary of state Mike Pompeo was in Afghanistan, he reaffirmed America’s commitment to helping the country.
“With so much going on in the world right now it’s sometimes easy to forget about America’s commitment here to Afghanistan, but the world should know that the Trump administration has not forgotten, the American people have not forgotten,” Pompeo said via CBS News.
“We agree that peace is our highest priority and that Afghanistan must never again serve as a platform for international terrorism,” Pompeo added.
According to the Washington Examiner, U.S. diplomats are nearing the conclusion of their negotiations.
“In light of this progress, we’ve begun discussions with the Taliban regarding foreign military presence, which today remains conditions-based,” Pompeo said. “And while we’ve made clear to the Taliban that we are prepared to remove our forces, I want to be clear we have not yet agreed on a timeline to do so.”