American service member killed in eastern Afghanistan


American service member killed in eastern Afghanistan

PlayNoorullah Shirzada/AFP via Getty Images FILE

WATCH Taliban claims it targeted US defense chief's plane in attack on Kabul airport

An American service member was killed in combat in eastern Afghanistan on Monday and four others were wounded in an area known for ISIS activity.

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"Two wounded service members are being treated at a nearby medical treatment facility and are in stable condition," according to a statement released Tuesday by U.S. Forces Afghanistan. "The other service members have returned to duty."

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our own,” said General John Nicholson, commander, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan. "At this very difficult time our heartfelt sympathies go out to the families and friends of our fallen and wounded brothers."

The area around Achin, Afghanistan, has been a key battleground against the ISIS affiliate that operates in eastern Afghanistan. ISIS forces peaked at about 3,000 in 2016, but heavy fighting since then has dwindled their numbers to about 1,000.

ANALYSIS: Losing troops and territory, will a new US strategy change the Afghan war?

Fifteen American service members died in Afghanistan in 2017. Almost half of that number resulted from anti-ISIS operations in eastern Afghanistan.

There are roughly 14,000 American troops in Afghanistan advising and assisting the Afghan military in the fight against the Taliban and ISIS.

New combat rules established by President Trump have allowed American troops to accompany Afghan forces at the battalion level, possibly placing them closer to combat situations.

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