US servicemember is killed in Afghanistan combat operation


WASHINGTON – A U.S. servicemember was killed Thursday in eastern Afghanistan during a combat operation alongside Afghan security forces, military officials said.  

An Afghan security force member also was killed in the operation and several others were wounded, according to a statement issued by U.S. Forces-Afghanistan.

The name of the servicemember was being withheld, pending notification of next of kin, which is Pentagon policy. The death marks the fourth U.S. fatality in Afghanistan this year and the second in recent days.

Army Cpl. Joseph Maciel was killed Saturday in an apparent insider attack in Tirin Kot district in the southern Uruzgan province. Two other soldiers were wounded in the attack. Maciel and the wounded soldiers were assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, which is deployed to provide security for the Army’s 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, or SFAB. The SFAB is spread across Afghanistan to train and advise Afghan front-line forces.

The statement from U.S. Forces-Afghanistan on Thursday did not provide additional details about the American who was killed or the operation, including where it took place and what enemy group it was targeting. Military officials in Afghanistan did not immediately respond to a request for additional information, and officials at the Pentagon declined to provide additional information.

U.S. Forces-Afghanistan is the American command responsible for counterterrorism operations, one of two missions roughly 14,000 American troops support in Afghanistan. While that mission primarily focuses on operations targeting groups including the Islamic State and al-Qaida, the NATO-led Resolute Support mission primarily aids Afghan forces in fighting the Taliban.

Under the counterterrorism mission, U.S. special operations troops partnered with Afghan forces in one of their largest joint operations recently to seize a stronghold in eastern Afghanistan that the region’s ISIS affiliate claimed as the local capital of their caliphate.

In the six months from December to the end of May, U.S. special operations troops advised the Afghan special security forces on more than 640 ground operations and provided enabling support on another 215, according to a semi-annual Pentagon report to Congress released last week. The Afghans carried out 713 independent operations.

Stars and Stripes reporter Chad Garland contributed to this report.

Twitter: @CDicksteinDC


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