U.S. and Afghan military forces came under direct fire Saturday while conducting a joint operation in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province, the U.S. military reports.
“A combined US and Afghan forces conducting an operation in Nangarhar province was engaged by direct fire on February 8th,” Col. Sonny Leggett, spokesperson for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, told CNN. We are assessing the situation and will provide further updates as they become available.”
There are currently somewhere between 12,000 and 13,000 U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan.
According to The New York Times, American Special Forces were assisting Afghan forces secure an area in Nangarhar that has been plagued by Taliban insurgence. A pair of Afghan officials told the paper that five or six American soldiers and six Afghan soldiers were killed in the skirmish. The total number of fatalities are still unknown.
The incident comes as the President Trump has been trying to reach a peace deal with the Taliban and end the country’s nearly 20-year occupation of Afghanistan.
In his State of the Union address this week, Trump touched on the peace talks, saying that the U.S. military shouldn’t act as “law enforcement” for other countries.
The Hill has reached out to the Department of Defense for comment.
This is a developing report.