Sept. 16 (UPI) — A U.S. Special Forces member was killed in Afghanistan, NATO Resolute Support Afghanistan announced on Monday.
The U.S. Defense Department did not reveal the Green Beret member’s identity but said he was killed in Wardak province while working with Afghan commando forces. The soldier’s unit was not identified. The announcement was first made on Monday in a NATO press release.
The fallen soldier is the 17th U.S. service member to die in Afghanistan. It is the highest number of losses since 2014, when an end to U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan was announced. Over 80 U.S. military personnel have been injured or wounded this year.
Earlier this month, Sgt. First Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz was among 12 people killed in Kabul in a suicide bombing. His death was cited by President Donald Trump as a reason behind his cancellation of peace talks with the Taliban, scheduled for Sept. 7 at Camp David, Md.
Trump later called referred to peace negotiations as “dead.”
The Taliban has accelerated attacks across Afghanistan in the days prior to the country’s presidential elections.
The Trump administration had planned to begin U.S. troop withdrawals as a part of a never-finalized deal with the Taliban, coordinated to accompany the 2020 U.S. presidential campaign.