2 U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan

Two U.S. service members died Wednesday while serving in the NATO mission in Afghanistan, military officials said.

NATO and the U.S. Department of Defense declined to offer details on what led to their deaths or their identities.

“In accordance with U.S. Department of Defense policy, the names of the service members killed in action are being withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin is complete,” a NATO release said.

There are about 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, 14 of whom have died since the beginning of 2019.

U.S. Army Gen. Scott Miller, commander of NATO’s Resolute Support mission, denied reports earlier this month that the Pentagon is scaling down operations in Afghanistan. The reports said the U.S. military had been ordered to stop advising the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces and limit combat operations, as part of “technical details” of an agreement negotiated with the Taliban. Such a move would cut U.S. presence in Afghanistan to a few thousand troops.

“The characterizations of changes to our authorities and operations have no basis in fact,” Miller said. “We have no such orders and have made no such changes.”

U.S. forces and the Taliban have been negotiating an exit from Afghanistan for months.

ByDanielle Haynes