Two Americans, a special operations soldier and an explosive ordnance disposal specialist on his first overseas deployment, were killed by enemy fire in Afghanistan on Friday amid volatile U.S.-Taliban peace talks and an alienated Afghan government.
Sergeant First Class William D. Lindsay, 34, from Cortez, Colorado, and Specialist Joseph “Joey” P. Collette, 29, from Lancaster, Ohio, were killed by small-arms fire during a joint operation between U.S. Army Green Berets and Afghan special forces soldiers in northern Kunduz Province. Four Afghan commandos were also killed, according to The New York Times.
Another special forces soldier, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Chris, whose last name is being withheld, was wounded during the firefight. He is listed in stable condition and was able to notify his family personally of his injury. Chris will be evacuated to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for follow-on treatment, Newsweek reported on Friday afternoon.
Two additional U.S. service members were also wounded from the same incident. We will not publish their names at this time, but both soldiers are expected to recover after being medically evacuated to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and then on to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland.
U.S. Army special forces teams, known as Operational Detachment Alphas, set out on a joint mission with soldiers from the Afghan National Army Commando Corps, the special forces arm of the regular army to raid a residential area in search of a high-value individual within the Gul Tepa District of Kunduz. Combat raids are typical missions for both American and Afghan troops as negotiations continue to draw the war to a close, said two Defense Department sources who asked not to be named due to Pentagon media regulations.
Unlike the rural, tribal regions of Afghanistan’s southern Helmand Province, Kunduz is a bustling urban city, the sixth largest in Afghanistan with a population of more than 268,000, according to a 2015 United Nations reports.
Intelligence suggested Taliban fighters were not supposed to be in the area when the gun battle broke out, and because the special forces soldiers were in a residential area, no air support was provided, said the sources. The U.S. military sources said they believe the Taliban was tipped off and had set up an ambush for the American and Afghan forces.
More details can be found here.