US service member killed in combat in Afghanistan

US service member killed in combat in Afghanistan
© Getty

A U.S. service member was killed in combat Thursday in Afghanistan, the NATO-led mission there announced Friday.

The news release from Resolute Support provided no details of the incident.

The identification of the service member is being withheld until 24 hours after next of kin is notified, in line with Defense Department policy.


The death brings this year’s total number of U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan to 15. The death rate hit a five-year high earlier this month after two service members were killed by small-arms fire.

Right now, the official count of U.S. troops in Afghanistan is 14,000.

American troops have two missions in Afghanistan: to train, advise and assist Afghan troops in their fight against the Taliban and to conduct counterterrorism operations against groups such as ISIS and al Qaeda.

The Trump administration has been negotiating with the Taliban on a deal that would see the U.S. withdraw in exchange for Taliban assurances that it will not allow terrorists to launch attacks against the United States from Afghanistan.

On Thursday, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Trump nods at reputation as germaphobe during coronavirus briefing: 'I try to bail out as much as possible' after sneezes MORE said 8,600 U.S. troops would stay in Afghanistan after any deal with the Taliban.

“We’re going down to 8,600, and then we’ll make a determination from there as to what happens,” Trump said in an interview on Fox News radio.

A drawdown to 8,600 would put U.S. troop levels at a couple hundred more than they were when Trump first took office.