United States service members killed during raid against ISIS in Afghanistan

Army Ranger from central Illinois killed in Afghanistan amid ISIS fight

NEWSArmy Ranger from central Illinois killed in Afghanistan amid ISIS fight Email none

Two U.S. special operators were killed during a joint raid Wednesday with Afghan forces in the Achin District of Nangarhar province, according to the Pentagon.

A Pentagon spokesperson said the us troops were operating with Afghan National Defense and Security Forces when they were attacked in Nangarhar Province, where the USA recently dropped the "mother of all bombs" on an ISIS tunnel system.

Earlier this month, USA forces in Afghanistan dropped a 22,000-pound guided bomb called a GBU-43 on an Islamic State tunnel complex in Nangahar, the first use of a weapon of its kind.

In February, Army General John Nicholson, the US commander in Afghanistan, said he needs several thousand more worldwide troops to break a stalemate with the Taliban.

On Monday, during a press conference with U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Nicholson said that ISIS is attempting to establish a presence in Afghanistan, and the MOAB bomb was meant to send "a very clear message" to the group. A bullet grazed the third service member, the officials said. Nicholson has called the war against the Taliban in a "stalemate", but promised to rid Afghanistan of the hundreds of ISIS fighters there in 2017, even as U.S. officials have said the Taliban is a bigger threat to Afghan security.

Nicholson has called for thousands of additional troops to help prop up the Afghan military, which is struggling to hold off the Taliban and an array of other militant groups.

The Islamic State's offshoot in Afghanistan, known as the Sunni jihadist group's so-called Khorasan Province, is suspected of carrying out several attacks on minority Shi'ite Muslim targets.

The bomb is the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the US, and it killed several dozen militants.

That permission loosened restrictions on targeting the ISIS's nascent presence in Afghanistan. In the latest attack, the Taliban disguised as Afghan army soldiers slipped into the compound of the 209 Corps in northern Afghanistan's Balkh province.

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