Two US occupation soldiers killed, two injured in Afghanistan
Two US soldiers have been killed and two others injured in operations against the Taliban militant group around the northern city of Kunduz in Afghanistan, according to an American military statement.
“The service members came under fire (on Thursday) during a train, advise and assist mission with our Afghan partners to clear a Taliban position and disrupt the group’s operations in Kunduz district,” the statement said.
The US military statement did not provide further details on the identity of the troops or what units they served with.
“On behalf of all of US Forces – Afghanistan, today’s loss is heartbreaking and we offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends of our service members who lost their lives today,” said John Nicholson, the top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan.
“Despite today’s tragic event, we are steadfast in our commitment to help our Afghan partners defend their nation,” he added.
The killings come just days before the US presidential election between Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who supports America’s longest war in the Asian country.
America’s longest war
The United States — under Republican George W. Bush’s presidency — and its allies invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban regime from power, but after about one and-a-half-decade, the foreign troops are still deployed to the country.
After becoming the president in 2008, President Barack Obama, a Democrat, vowed to end the Afghan war — one of the longest conflicts in US history – but he failed to keep his promise.
Trump, who speaks against the Afghan war, has dubbed the 2001 invasion and following occupation of Afghanistan as “Obama’s war”.
Obama has ordered the military to take on the Taliban more directly and enable Afghan forces battling the militant group.
In October last year, Obama announced plans to keep 9,800 US troops in Afghanistan through 2016 and 5,500 in 2017, reneging on his promise to end the war there and bring home most American forces from the Asian country before he leaves office.
According to US officials, Washington would also maintain a large counterterrorism capability of terror drones and Special Operations Forces to fight militants in Afghanistan.
‘US uses Afghanistan as staging ground for intervention’
Afghanistan serves as an essential staging ground for the US imperialism to destabilize the heart of Eurasia and disrupt its integration into Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union and China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, according to Professor Dennis Etler.
Etler, an American political analyst who has a decades-long interest in international affairs, told Press TV that the United States is not interested in establishing peace in Afghanistan.
“They will always try to use it as a staging ground for intervention throughout the region and as a card to play in its geo-political deck. It should be expected that no matter who is in the White House come 2017 US forces will try to remain in Afghanistan in perpetuity,” the scholar said.