Defense

9 MONTHS: 22 US Troops Killed In Action Across 6 Countries

US Army Flickr/Photo by Melissa Bohan

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent

Twenty-two U.S. troops have been killed in action across six different countries during President Donald Trump’s nine-month tenure in office, a Daily Caller News Foundation analysis reveals.

Graph: The/DCNF

The broad range of countries reveals the span of the U.S. counter-terrorism mission battling groups like the Islamic State, al-Qaida and their affiliates in Afghanistan, Iraq, Niger, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

The first casualty of the Trump administration occurred in the first weeks of the administration after U.S. Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens was killed during a ill-fated raid on an al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula compound deep inside Yemen. Owen’s widow was invited to Trump’s first State of the Union address where she was honored before Congress.

Afghanistan has seen the most U.S. casualties with 11 U.S. service members killed in action. Many of those killed in Afghanistan were combatting ISIS’s affiliate in eastern Nangarhar province on partner missions with the Afghan National Security Forces. ISIS’s Afghan affiliate has proven resilient against U.S. operations, including the use of the largest non-nuclear bomb on earth in late April 2017.

The U.S.-led, anti-ISIS coalition in Iraq and Syria has also seen five service members killed in the last nine months. The four U.S. service members in Iraq include two killed by a improvised explosive devices and two others killed in a mortar misfire incident.

U.S. officials recently confirmed that the most recent casualty in Iraq, Army Spc. Alexander W. Missildine, was killed by an explosively formed penetrator (EFP). EFPs are a signature deadly improvised explosive device long used against U.S. soldiers during the 2003-2011 thought to have been provided to Iraqi Shiite militias by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Army Spc. Etienne Murphy was the only service member killed in Syria after a vehicle rollover incident. He was a member of the famed 75th Ranger Regiment.

The U.S. counter-terrorism mission in Africa has also seen casualties in recent months. Navy SEAL Senior Chief Petty Officer Kyle Milliken became the first U.S. casualty in Somalia since the 1993 Black Hawk Down incident in May 2017 when he came under fire by al-Qaida militants while on a train, advise, and assist mission with the Somalian National Army. The U.S. has significantly escalated its presence in Somalia under the Trump administration to nearly 400 troops.

Four Army Green Berets were also killed recently during a murky mission in Niger near the Malian border. U.S. military officials reportedly believe they were killed in an ambush by ISIS’s affiliate in the region known as ISIS in the Greater Sahara.

Pentagon officials have been reticent to provide details on the raid and a robust investigation into the circumstances of the ambush is under way.

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