The US military has announced the death of one of its service members in a combat mission in Afghanistan.
The US Department of Defense made the announcement on Tuesday, saying that the soldier had been killed “as a result of enemy small arms fire,” without disclosing the name of the service member or the branch of the military.
"In accordance with US Department of Defense policy, the name of the service member killed in action is being withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin is complete," the Pentagon said in a statement.
The NATO mission in Afghanistan – Resolute Support Mission (RSM) – said the incident was under investigation, declining to provide further details.
This is the second US service member killed in military operations in Afghanistan in 2019.
US Army Sergeant Cameron Meddock died last week at a medical facility in Germany of injuries sustained during a combat operation on January 13 in the northwestern Afghan province of Badghis.
More than 2,400 American forces have been killed in the country since the United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror in October 2001. The offensive removed the Taliban regime from power, but after more than one and a half decades, the foreign troops are still deployed to the country.
According to the Pentagon, there are about 14,000 troops, mostly from the US and NATO countries, in Afghanistan for “advice and assist mission.”
Last month, US President Donald Trump ordered the military to begin plans to withdraw about 7,000 American troops from Afghanistan in coming months but the pullout has yet to start.
The US is currently pushing for a peace deal with the militants to spare its troops but negotiations remain deadlocked over the Taliban demand that American forces leave Afghanistan.
In recent months, Taliban militants have stepped up attacks on security forces across Afghanistan, killing a large number of police forces as well as civilians.