By Carla Babb
August 21, 2019
Two U.S. service members were “killed in action” Wednesday in Afghanistan, the U.S. military said, as talks between the U.S. and the Taliban were set to resume in Qatar.
U.S. officials confirmed this was an active combat situation but would not say which enemy the U.S. troops were fighting. An official with the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan told VOA an investigation was continuing.
The identities of the two service members were not released, pending notification of their next of kin.
The Trump administration and the Taliban have been negotiating to find a way out of the United States’ longest war.
U.S. President Donald Trump shared details of the meetings with reporters on Sunday as he headed back to the White House from New Jersey, suggesting a U.S. troop drawdown plan was still in the works.
“We’re having very good discussions [with the Taliban]. We will see what happens. We’ve really got it down to probably 13,000 people [troops], and we’ll be bringing it down a little bit more and then we will decide whether or not we will be staying longer or not,” he said.
The U.S. plans to leave behind a “very significant intelligence” force, Trump stressed, for operations against the Islamic State group and al-Qaida, maintaining that Afghanistan remained “a breeding ground” for terrorists.