(WASHINGTON) — Another U.S. service member was killed during combat operations in Afghanistan on Thursday, marking the third American service member killed in the country in just over a week. The Defense Department did not provide additional details surrounding the circumstances of the service member’s death.
“In accordance with U.S. Department of Defense policy, the name of the service member is being withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin is complete,” the NATO mission in Afghanistan said in a statement on Friday.
There have now been 18 U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan this year, 15 of them in combat-related incidents — the highest number recorded by the Defense Department since 2014.
On Aug. 21, two U.S. Army Green Berets were killed during combat operations in Faryab Province in northern Afghanistan. Master Sgt. Luis F. Deleon-Figueroa, 31, and Master Sgt. Jose J. Gonzalez, 35, were assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) based at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump told Fox News Radio that the U.S. would draw down to 8,600 troops in Afghanistan, down from the current number of about 14,000. The Taliban publicly rejected that idea. However, peace talks between the U.S. and Taliban continue in Doha, Qatar.
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