Two U.S. Army soldiers were killed Thursday while conducting a joint US-Afghan operation in the Achin District of Nangarhar Province, Pentagon Spokesman US Navy Capt. Jeff Davis told CNN.
The operation was targeting ISIS-K, the terror group’s Afghanistan affiliate.
According to the Department of Defense, the soldiers were assigned to 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Georgia.
The US official also told CNN that an additional soldier was wounded during the firefight. That service member’s wounds are not considered life threatening.
The Department of Defense on Friday announced the names of the two soldiers who were killed. They have been identified as 22-year-old Sgt. Joshua P. Rodgers of Bloomington, Illinois; and 23-year-old Sgt. Cameron H. Thomas of Kettering, Ohio.
Achin District is the primary base of operations for ISIS in Afghanistan and has been the site of multiple joint US-Afghan counterterrorism missions. It is also where the US dropped one of its most powerful bombs earlier this month, killing close to 100 ISIS fighters, according to Afghan officials.
Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, has pledged to eliminate ISIS-K from Afghanistan this year.
The fight against ISIS-K is important for the world, but sadly, it is not without sacrifice,” said General Nicholson. “On behalf of all U.S. Forces and our coalition partners, I offer our deepest sympathies to the families, friends, and fellow service members of our fallen comrades.”
US and coalition casualties in Afghanistan have fallen dramatically since the Afghan government assumed responsibility for combat operations in 2014.