World

Afghanistan conflict claims second U.S. service member of the year

AFP-JIJI

An American soldier was killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday, NATO said, the second to die as a result of the conflict so far in 2019.

“The incident is under investigation,” NATO’s Resolute Support mission said in a statement.

“In accordance with U.S. Department of Defense policy, the name of the service member killed in action is being withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin is complete.”

It comes after an injured American soldier who was transported to Germany for treatment died there earlier this month.

Sgt. Cameron Meddock died “as a result of injuries sustained from small arms fire during combat operations” in Badghis Province on Jan. 13, the Pentagon said Friday.

More than 2,400 American soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan since the intervention of the U.S. armed forces in 2001 to overthrow the Taliban.

But the numbers have dropped significantly since the end of 2014, when Afghan forces took over from U.S.-led NATO combat troops.

Twelve U.S. soldiers were killed last year.

Currently, there are about 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, providing the main component of the Resolute Support mission to help and train local forces.

But in December, President Donald Trump, losing patience with the war, announced his intention to withdraw half the troops.

GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5