A member of the Afghan Army’s Commando Forces has attacked and killed three US Army Rangers in the Nangarhar Province, wounding a fourth American soldier. The gunmen was killed in return fire by US forces.
The attack came during a joint operation in the Achin District, which is one of the main bases of operations for Afghanistan’s ISIS affiliate. The Taliban issued a statement following the attack claiming that the gunman, who has not been identified, was an infiltrator from their forces.
This is the deadliest such “green-on-blue” attack since a similar incident in March which also killed three US soldiers. Such incidents used to be much more common, but in recent years US and NATO forces have greatly limited their amount of direct contact with the Afghan military.
As the US looks to escalate its involvement in Afghanistan again, both trying to fight the growing ISIS affiliate and trying to keep Afghanistan from suffering an outright defeat to the Taliban, they are putting troops increasingly back into these “joint” operations, leaving them exposed to shootings, whether by Taliban infiltrators or just malcontent Afghan soldiers, who have grown weary of 16 years of US-led military occupation.