Two U.S. service members were killed Monday in Afghanistan.
No other information was provided in the short press release sent out Monday afternoon by NATO’s Resolute Support headquarters, which oversees the train, advise and assist mission in-country.
When asked whether the two American service members were killed during the same operation, officials referred Military Times to the press release, stating that they “have nothing further to add.”
Department of Defense policy requires the names of service members killed in action to be withheld until 24 hours after the notification of next of kin has been completed.
Citing anonymous officials, the Associated Press reported that an Afghan soldier shot and killed the two U.S. troops in Kandahar. The Afghan soldier was wounded and is in custody, according to the officials.
In a post on the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division’s website, Col. Art Sellers requested respect regarding the Pentagon’s policy and said that the names could be released within a few days. He added further information would be disclosed accordingly.
“As we move forward together, I ask for your thoughts and prayers for the Families affected and for the Paratroopers of their unit who are still deployed," Sellers said.
The two latest deaths bring the number of U.S. troops killed in action in Afghanistan to date this year to 12. There have been nearly 60 U.S. troops wounded in action so far this year.
In 2018, the number of U.S. troops killed in combat stood at 13 and the number of wounded was recorded as 114, according to the Pentagon’s Defense Casualty Analysis System.
Since 2014, the U.S. military has drastically scaled back the total number of troops in Afghanistan, but kinetic operations against the Taliban and a local Islamic State franchise have increased under President Donald Trump’s tenure, as he loosened authorities for ground commanders to strike targets.
American diplomats are also engaged in ongoing rounds of peace talks with Taliban representatives as the fighting continues.
The president has oscillated between wanting to drawdown the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and heeding warnings from senior generals that doing so could reinvigorate cooperation between the Taliban and Al-Qaeda and open the West up to terror attacks again in the future.
There are currently about 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, in addition to the contributions from NATO allies.
At its height, the coalition force stood at more than 130,000 troops.
Kyle Rempfer is an editor and reporter whose investigations have covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.