The Pentagon just released information about two Army Rangers killed during a recent raid on an Islamic State compound in eastern Afghanistan. Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said that the U.S. military is now investigating whether they were accidentally killed by ground fire from “friendly” Afghan commandos or other American forces. Davis stated that the deaths did not appear to be deliberate.
The head of the Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan, Abdul Haseeb Logari, was the target of the military raid. Davis said that Logari was one of the several key leaders who was killed, along with about 35 other enemy fighters. “This was a dangerous mission, and we knew this going in,” Davis told Pentagon reporters. “This was the leader of ISIS in Afghanistan. We knew that he was going to be well protected and that they were going to fight very hard to prevent him from being captured or killed. And that is indeed what happened.”
50 Army Rangers and 40 Afghan commandos were dropped off by helicopter for the raid in Nangarhar Province’s, Mohmand Valley. They fought on the ground there for about four-and-a-half hours. “Within minutes of the insertion the combined force came under intense fire from multiple directions. It was during these initial moments of the raid that the two Rangers were mortally wounded,” Davis said. He continued by saying that the U.S. and Afghan troops were being fired on from positions that had been prepared on all sides by a heavily fortified compound with networks of tunnels.
The battle not only included the ground troops but had unmanned aircraft, AC-130 gunships, Apache helicopters and F-16 fighter jets in support of the raid. In the midst of the massive assault, Army Sgt. Joshua P. Rodgers, 22, Bloomington, Illinois and Cameron H. Thomas, 23, of Kettering, Ohio, were killed. Their families have been informed that it was probably friendly fire.
This raid took place about one or two kilometers (about one mile) from the site where the U.S. dropped what is called the “mother of all bombs.” This is the area in which the U.S. has been battling the Islamic State group in Afghanistan for months, and it estimates that this group now has approximately 1,000 fighters there.
Our prayers go out to the families of our fallen soldiers.
Credit: Chicago Tribune