Pentagon IDs soldier killed in Afghanistan

Pentagon IDs soldier killed in Afghanistan
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The Pentagon on Tuesday identified the U.S. service member that was killed in action a day prior in Afghanistan.

Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy W. Griffin, 40, of Greenbrier, Tenn., was killed on Monday by small arms fire when his unit was engaged in combat operations in Wardak Province, according to a Defense Department statement.

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Griffin was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., which had been supporting Operation Freedom's Sentinel. That operation is part of the NATO-led Operation Resolute Support.

Griffin's death, which is under investigation, is the 17th American combat death in Afghanistan this year. 

The death rate for U.S. troops in the country is at a five-year high, a figure reached earlier this month after two service members were killed by small-arms fire.

The death rate has been far higher for Afghan forces and civilians in 2019, numbering in the hundreds.

Also this month, the Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in Kabul that killed a U.S. service member along with a Romanian soldier and 10 civilians.

The recent deaths have put on hold peace talks between the Trump administration and the Taliban, with President Trump canceling the negotiations after the suicide bombing.

Trump said that talks were “dead” and also canceled plans for a summit with Taliban leaders to be held at Camp David, a proposal that brought criticism from lawmakers in both parties.