Ranger likely was killed accidentally by Afghan troops, military says
An Army Ranger killed in action in Afghanistan during the weekend likely shot by Afghan troops accidentally, the military coalition in Kabul said Tuesday.
Sgt. Leandro A.S. Jasso, 25, was shot while American troops and Afghan forces were assaulting “one of multiple barricaded al-Qaida shooters” in Nimruz province, officials with U.S. Forces-Afghanistan said, citing initial interviews with witnesses. The troops were fighting a close-quarters battle, they said.
“There are no indications he was shot intentionally,” the statement said.
Jasso was medically evacuated from the combat zone and later died of his injuries at a medical facility in Helmand province.
The soldier, from Leavenworth, Wash., was on his third deployment to Afghanistan. He enlisted in the Army in 2012 and became an accomplished soldier, completing the Basic Airborne Course, earning the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and the much-sought-after Ranger tab, the Army’s Special Operations Command said in a statement.
U.S. special operations troops often accompany their Afghan counterparts into battle as part of a joint counterterrorism mission, which is separate from the much larger U.S. and coalition mission to train and equip government forces battling a 17-year Taliban insurgency.
"Sgt. Jasso was killed defending our nation, fighting al-Qaida alongside our Afghan partners," Gen. Scott Miller, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, said in a statement. "All of us, and throughout our coalition of 41 nations, recognize the threats posed by groups such as al-Qaida and ISIS and are determined to fight them here."
Jasso became the 10th American to die in Afghanistan this year.