Two US soldiers were killed overnight and a third was wounded in fighting against ISIS forces in the Achin District of Nangarhar Province. This is the same area in which the US earlier this month launched the MOAB “Mother of All Bombs” strike.
US casualties in Afghanistan have been increasingly rare in recent years, as US troops have mostly remained on base and focused on support, leaving the direct combat to the Afghan military. Mounting losses by the Afghans have the US increasingly interested in direct involvement.
But while officials tried to spin the latest casualties as reflective of how important the fight against ISIS in Afghanistan is, it again raises significant doubts about what the MOAB actually accomplished if US ground troops ended up in the same area fighting anyhow.
US and Afghan officials have both said they intend to wipe out the ISIS faction in Achin, but the reality is they claimed ISIS to have been wiped out in this area at least twice in the past year, and ISIS continues to crop up immediately after such declarations of victory, to start the whole thing over again.
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