The United States Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) announced that two U.S. service members were KIA 3 Nov 2016 as a result of wounds sustained during operations in Kunduz district, Kunduz province. The service members were part of a train, advise, and assist mission with an Afghan unit that was clearing a Taliban position. Two other soldiers were wounded during the incident. Kunduz has been the scene of heavy fighting the past two years.
The two soldiers have been identified as Captain Andrew D. Byers and SFC Ryan A. Gloyer. Both were assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Carson, Colorado.
General John W. Nicholson issued a statement on the deaths:
“On behalf of all U.S. 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. Our wounded soldiers are receiving the best medical care possible and we are keeping them and their families in our thoughts today, as well. Despite today’s tragic event, we are steadfast in our commitment to help our Afghan partners defend their nation.”
Airstrikes were conducted during the combat operation to “. . . defend friendly forces under fire . . .” – Afghan news services report heavy civilian deaths. Some Afghan news agencies are reporting that three Afghan commandos were killed and seven Afghan commandos were wounded during the engagement. The combat operation was targeting senior Taliban leaders.
Earlier this fall the Taliban overran the city of Kunduz – the provincial capital of Kunduz province. It took a few weeks to dislodge the Taliban from the city. In the fall of 2015 the Taliban stunned the Afghan army when it took and held Kunduz City for over two weeks. It was only after Afghan special operations forces (advised by U.S. Special Forces and assisted with U.S. air support) were rushed to the fight that the city was recaptured from the insurgents.
More news resports:
“Two highly-decorated special forces soldiers killed in Afghanistan were from Fort Carson”, The Denver Post, November 4, 2016.
“Kunduz casualty release (Nov. 3, 2016)”, Resolute Support Press Release, November 3, 2016.
“Kunduz casualty release”, U.S. Central Command Press Release, November 3, 2016.
“Two U.S. military personnel, 16 Afghans killed in clash, police say”, Reuters, November 3, 2016.
“Two U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan, two others wounded”, Army Times, November 3, 2016.
“2 US troops dead after Afghan raid that killed 26 civilians”, Associated Press, November 3, 2016.
“Two U.S. Special Forces Soldiers Among Dead in Afghan Battle”, The Wall Street Journal, November 3, 2016.