Afghan Combat Claims Two US Special Operators In Two Weeks

Saagar Enjeti | White House Correspondent

Two U.S. special operators have died in the same Afghan province in the span of just two weeks.

The first death occurred when 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment Chief Warrant Officer Jacob M. Sims crashed his helicopter into a tree during combat operations on Oct 27. The crash reportedly occurred while Sims was ferrying U.S. and Afghan troops to a special night time combat raid within the Afghan province.

Sims’s death was followed by the Saturday death of U.S. Army Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Stephen B. Cribben. The Pentagon was not forthcoming with details of Cribben’s death, only noting that he was killed during “combat operations.”

The deaths highlight the renewed tempo of combat operations in Afghanistan under the Trump administration. President Donald Trump vowed to extend the U.S. presence in Afghanistan until conditions on the ground merited a withdrawal and loosened U.S. rules of engagement. The loosening now allows U.S. forces to pursue Taliban insurgents anywhere in the country.

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