Pentagon: Two US service members killed fighting ISIS in Afghanistan


"Two US service members were killed in action last night in southern Nangarhar, Afghanistan, during an operation against ISIS Khorasan", Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis told reporters.

Two U.S. military service members have been killed after an anti-ISIS raid in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday, as reported by NBC News at 10:21 a.m., April 27, 2017.

Almost 9,000 US troops remain in Afghanistan; some 7,000 of them train and assist Afghan forces, and about 1,500 are a part of a counter-terrorism unit that mostly targets pockets of al Qaeda and Islamic State fighters, but also engages the Taliban.

In mid-April, the U.S. military earlier dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb it has ever used in combat, hitting ISIS positions in Nangarhar.

Afghanistan's Taliban has announced the start of their spring offensive, promising to target military assaults on USA -led coalition and Afghan security forces.

The Afghan Taliban announced the beginning of their spring offensive on Friday, promising to build their political base in the country while focusing military assaults on the global coalition and Afghan security forces.

The deaths come just days after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited Afghanistan to assess the security situation and advance deliberations about the Trump administration's strategy for America's longest war.

"The fight against ISIS-K is important for the world, but sadly, it is not without sacrifice", said General John Nicholson, the commander of United States forces in Afghanistan.

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The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan says more troops are needed to break the "stalemate" with the Taliban.

The service members were conducting a partnered operation with Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, the statement said. The Afghan conflict is the longest in USA history - US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops have been at war there since 2001, after the ousting of the Taliban regime for refusing to hand over Osama bin Laden following the 9/11 attacks in the United States.

In Friday's statement, the Taliban spokesperson said government forces would be "targeted, harassed, killed, or captured", although it promised to minimise civilian casualties.

But it was criticised by observers who questioned its use against a group that is that is not considered as big a threat as the resurgent Taliban.

The U.S. and Afghan troops had flown in by helicopter then advanced on foot.

But the offensive comes with Afghan forces, supported by about 8,400 US troops and 5,000 North Atlantic Treaty Organisation soldiers, facing what visiting US Defence Secretary James Mattis described this week as "another tough year".

As much as 8400 USA troops still roam around in the country as part of the NATO-led Resolute Support training and advisory mission, as well as a separate counterterrorism mission.