Two Army Rangers Killed in Nangarhar Province
Two more Army Rangers were killed and one wounded during a raid to target an ISIS-K leader on Wednesday in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province. It’s the same province where Staff Sergeant Mark De Alencar was killed earlier in the month.
Sgt. Joshua P. Rodgers, 22, of Bloomington, Ill., and Sgt. Cameron H. Thomas, 23, of Kettering, Ohio were attached to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment out of Fort Benning. The third Ranger was grazed by a bullet, but his injury was described as “minor.”
“The fight against ISIS-K is important for the world, but sadly, it is not without sacrifice…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.” Army General John Nicholson
The incident occurred in the Momand Valley, the same place where the U.S. dropped the MOAB to destroy an ISIS tunnel complex. Though the bomb killed between 36 and 100 ISIS fighters, battles have continued in the region. Our friend who lives there has told us many times that he wished more “Daesh evils” had been killed.
Nangarhar Province has been a platform for terror groups for some time. ISIS-K -or ISIS-Khorasan has established a presence there near the Pakistan border, but recent battles targeting their leaders has reduced their numbers from 2,000 to between 400 and 700 fighters, according to the MilitaryTimes.
There are offshoots of various terrorist groups that also come into play. According to NBC, there are roughly 20 terrorist groups in the region, including ISIS-K and the Taliban.
The next troop rotation will involve the “Devils in Baggy Pants” a nickname given to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division out of Fort Bragg. About 1,500 troops will rotate into the region as the previous one rotates out.
General Nicholson requested “thousands”more troops back in February. The situation in Afghanistan has been complicated by the alleged involvement of Russia in bringing in weapons and support to the Taliban.
President Trump has given SecDef James Mattis the authority to raise troop levels in Syria and Iraq if he feels it necessary. Mattis has already made it abundantly clear that his goal is to accelerate the campaign to eradicate ISIS. Will the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan be added to that directive?