A United States military service member has been killed by an IED in northeastern Nangarhar province, Afghanistan. The name, rank and branch of the service member were not immediately released.Nangarhar province has seen a good deal of ISIS-related counterterrorism operations in recent weeks, including one recent operation where the equipment of a U.S. Army Ranger was left behind and captured by the Taliban after a long day of fighting by Special Operations Forces (SOF).“On behalf of all of U.S. Forces – Afghanistan, we are heartbroken by this loss and we extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the service member,” Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr. said in a statement to The Post. “Despite this tragic event, we remain committed to defeating the terrorists of the Islamic State, Khorasan Province and helping our Afghan partners defend their nation.”The American troops were partnered with Afghan forces and were conducting an “offensive action against ISIL because we do not want to let this group be able to take root in Afghanistan as it has in other places,” said Defense department Peter Cook on Tuesday.The service member was killed by an IED while on a foot patrol, instead of in a vehicle.
Not the first service member death in Afghanistan this year
The death is the seventh this year for the United States in Afghanistan. Nagarhar has seen an expansion of the mission to target ISIS this year as the terror group has grown in size.President Obama authorized the nearly 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan to target and fight ISIS in any part of the country earlier this year.IED’s are the most common method of killing United States troops in Afghanistan.An investigation into the service member’s death is being conducted."This was a combat situation. Clearly this was a servicemember who faced risk alongside Afghan partners and we offer our condolences to the family," Cook said.