A statement by the United States military command announcing the deaths did not provide details, which the Pentagon does not disclose until families are notified. But Afghan and American officials said the soldiers were from an Army Special Forces unit carrying out an operation in restive Faryab Province in the north, and had most likely died during a firefight.
“Our commandos and the Americans had an operation last night and there was fighting until 1 a.m.,” said Abdul Manan Qateh, the district governor of Almar, where the battle was said to have taken place.
The deaths on Wednesday bring American military fatalities in the country this year to 14, up from 13 deaths in 2018 and 11 in 2017. The rising toll is a sign of how the American military is taking a more aggressive role in the conflict again after drawing down to about 14,000 troops and taking on a largely advisory role as Afghan forces fight the Taliban.