Taliban kills 2 US soldiers in Kunduz

The Taliban killed two US soldiers and wounded two more in an attack in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz. The US soldiers were operating as part of Resolute Support’s “train, advise and assist mission.”

From the Resolute Support press release announcing the soldier’s deaths:

Two U.S. service members died as a result of wounds sustained during operations in Kunduz district, Kunduz province today. Two other U.S. service members were wounded in the operation…

The service members came under fire during a train, advise and assist mission with our Afghan partners to clear a Taliban position and disrupt the group’s operations in Kunduz district.

U.S. Department of Defense policy is to withhold the identity of the service members pending next-of-kin notification. We will release additional information as appropriate.

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense noted that three Afghan commandos and two US special forces soldiers were killed in Kunduz, TOLONews reported.

As the Resolute Support press release notes, the fighting took place in Kunduz district, which also hosts the provincial capital. Kunduz district is one of 97 districts that are controlled or contested by the Taliban, according to a study by The Long War Journal.

The Taliban acknowledged the incident on its Arabic language version of Voice of Jihad, and claimed the US launched airstrikes on civilians after its soldiers were killed. TOLONews said that “unconfirmed reports [of civilian casualties] indicate the tally was quite high.”

Resolute Support noted on its Twitter feed that “Airstrikes were conducted in Kunduz to defend friendly forces under fire” and “All civilian casualty claims will be investigated.”

The Taliban stormed Kunduz city on Oct. 3 and remained inside for nine days during heavy fighting. Resolute Support insisted Afghan security forces cleared the city within 24 hours of the Taliban entering even while fighting raged outside of the governor’s compound in the center of the city.

Jihadist in Afghanistan have killed three US soldiers in the past month. On Oct. 5, the Islamic State killed a US soldier in an IED attack in Achin district in Nangarhar province. The soldier was on a “counter terrorism mission targeting the Islamic State,” according to the US military. Seven US servicemen and two Romanian soldiers have been killed in “hostile fire” in Afghanistan in 2016, according to iCasualties.org.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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4 Comments

  • irebukeu says:

    Terrible news to learn that 2 more Americans have died in Afghanistan. My thoughts are for their families and comrades.
    Of course we don’t know the full details but the news seems to include two things of value to the taliban.
    That Americans were killed among the killed and injured among the injured in the operation and that as a result of that contact the Americans killed a large number of civilians. Civilians that might now need somewhere to turn to exact their revenge.
    Afghans seem to be an interesting people. There seems to be a line of thought among them so often seen again and again in actual interviews- spoken words with faces and names and villages to go along with those names, that the AMERICANS and foreigners are responsible for all of this carnage in their nation.
    There will be an attempt by people, quite naturally and I don’t fault them for doing so, to blame the taliban for all the civilian deaths no matter who killed them in this particular incident but we should know that so many of these Afghans from all over claim that none of this would be happening if the foreigners were not here.
    That is the simplicity of their interesting position. That none of this would happen if the Americans were not here.
    Many Afghans, Hekmatyar and the Taliban all agree on that.
    Even when the Americans were not there Afghans still found blame in America. A quick google search turns up this NYT article from 1990 titled AFGHANS: Now They Blame America.
    http://www.nytimes.com/1990/02/04/magazine/afghans-now-they-blame-america.html?pagewanted=all
    I read the article and it seems quite accurate to the facts in that time.

  • Eugene says:

    When is enough, enough? Exactly what is gained with this war, aside from the drain on the U.S. Treasury? A training ground perhaps, or just another stepping stone in the long road toward retirement.

  • stryker555 says:

    Sorry to hear of this. Also very sorry to hear of about 30 Afghan civilians killed. What the hell is going on in Kunduz? ISAF cant get that place right.

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