Resolute Support Mission, NATO’s command in Afghanistan, confirmed that two US soldiers were killed today, however no details of the attack were provided. The Taliban claimed to have killed two US soldiers during an ambush in a dangerous area in Wardak province.
Resolute Support’s press release on the death of the two US soldiers was unusually terse, only noting the soldiers were killed and their names would not be released until next of kin was notified. The location and type of attack was not provided.
In a statement released on Voice of Jihad, the Taliban’s official website, the jihadist group claimed it killed one US soldier and three Afghan troops during an ambush and subsequent “7-hour long firefight” in Sayyadabad (Saydabad) district in the eastern Afghan province of Wardak. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid later tweeted that two US soldiers were killed in Sayyadabad.
“Two ambulance helicopters landed at the site to carry the dead and wounded,” the Taliban statement claimed. “Shortly after the operation, the area came under heavy strikes by the U.S invaders’ warplanes.”
Nine US soldiers have been killed during combat in Afghanistan so far this year. March was a deadly month for US forces. The Taliban killed three US soldiers in an attack outside of Bagram Air Base, and two more in Kunduz.
Sayyadabad district, which is close to the capital of Kabul, is one of the more dangerous areas in Afghanistan. FDD’s Long War Journal assesses Sayyadabad as Taliban-controlled. The Taliban collects taxes and imposes its harsh form of sharia, or Islamic law, in much of the district.
The Taliban has executed several high profile attacks in the district. In Aug. 2011, Taliban fighters shot down a US Chinook helicopter and killed 31 US and seven Afghan special operations forces, including several members of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, which is more commonly referred to as SEAL Team 6.
More recently, in 2017, the Taliban ambushed and destroyed an Afghan military convoy in the district. A Taliban video that was produced by the media arm of the Haqqani Network and released on Voice of Jihad shows Taliban fighters savaging the Afghan National Army convoy during broad daylight.