KABUL (Dispatches) – The deaths of two U.S. service members in Afghanistan days ago raised this year’s number of Americans killed in combat there to the highest annual total since 2014, according to a report.
A U.S. official told The Associated Press that the two service members died in combat from small-arms fire, bringing the total number of 2019 U.S. combat related fatalities in Afghanistan to 14. Two additional American deaths in the country were not combat related.
The highest annual Afghan death toll for U.S. military personnel in the past five years had previously been 13 in 2018, with another 11 in 2017, nine in 2016 and 10 in 2015. Prior to that, about 40 service members were killed in 2014.
The administration of Barack Obama in December 2014 formally ended the combat mission in Afghanistan, known as Operation Enduring Freedom. The operation includes more than 2,350 U.S. military personnel deaths, with nearly 1,900 of those combat related, according to the Pentagon’s casualty statistics.