5 US Green Berets Die In A Single Week Across Middle East

(DoD photo by Jason Minto, U.S. Air Force/Released)

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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Five U.S. Green Berets were killed the week of October 31 in Afghanistan and Jordan.

Three U.S. Green Berets came under fire when entering a Jordanian military base Friday, in a possible friendly fire incident. The circumstances of the attack are under investigation, and the details are scarce. Two other green berets died in Afghanistan Thursday while embedded with Afghan Special Forces in a raid on Taliban terrorists.

Four additional U.S. service members were wounded in Afghanistan Thursday, but the military did not specify which branch they served in.

The attack on U.S. forces in Jordan came nearly a year after an apparent terrorist incident where a rogue Jordanian military officer killed two U.S. contractors at a training facility. A Jordanian military intelligence official told The New York Times the U.S. green berets failed to stop at the gate of the air base, possibly being fired upon by Jordanian security forces.

Pentagon officials confirmed the green berets were killed at the gate of the air base but refused to confirm further circumstances. “We are working closely with the government of Jordan to determine exactly what happened,” Pentagon Spokesman Peter Cook told reporters.

The two U.S. green beret’s killed in Afghanistan join four other U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan this year, along with multiple others wounded in IED explosions. U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said he was saddened by the service member’s deaths in a statement to reporters, and noted that they were engaged in a “train, advise and assist mission.”

The Pentagon insists on describing its roles in Afghanistan and Iraq as “train, advise and assist” missions, despite the direct presence of U.S. special operators on multiple combat front lines. The soldiers were reportedly hit by sniper fire, along with three other Afghan Special Forces on a high-profile Taliban raid in the city of Kunduz.

The U.S. “train, advise, and assist” mission is fraught with challenges. The Taliban now controls more territory than at any time since the U.S. invasion in 2001, and the Afghan Security Forces are suffering historic casualties.

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