Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis,USN,announced that two US Special Operations Forces members were killed in action overnight in Nangarhar Province of Eastern Afghanistan.A third US Soldier was wounded but is expected to survive.They were on a raid with Afghan National Defence and Security Forces members in a village near Achin district.The area has been a hotbed of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant-Khorasan militants,who have been posing a threat to US and ANDSF Soldiers operating in the area.*
ISIL refers to Nangarhar as Khorasan Province.*
The battleground was in the same area where US Army Staff Sergeant Mark R DeAlencar was killed in action on a similar raid on 8 April,just over two weeks ago.In response,the US dropped a Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb,or MOAB,formally designated the GBU-43.The 11-tonne weapon was targeted at a complex of ISIL-K tunnels in Achin district,and killed between 36-100 of the Islamist extremists,by Afghan estimates.The US has yet to disclose any bomb damage assessment.*
The American deaths came after a long day of fighting,according to an Afghan military official.US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had recently made a secret visit to the Afghan capital Kabul to discuss the deteriorating security situation in the country with President Ashraf Ghani and other Afghan leaders.Commander of all US and NATO forces in Afghanistan General John Nicholson,US Army,has told Congress that,in fact,a few thousand more troops are needed for train,advise and assist,as well as counterterrorism operations,in the beleaguered nation,in addition to the 8400 US service members currently serving there and about 5,000 from other NATO and partner nations.GEN Nicholson wants to drive ISIL-K out of Afghanistan by the end of 2017 because it is important for the world,which would leave the Taliban and remnant al-Qaida forces to deal with.
Mr.Mattis has yet to make a recommendation on Afghanistan to President Donald Trump.