The United States has reached a full year without a combat death in Afghanistan as conflict with the Taliban wanes.
The milestone was reached on Monday as the U.S. aims to remove international military forces from the country by May 1 and attempts to negotiate peace to end the two-decade war, Stars and Stripes reported.
The last recorded deaths of military members in Afghanistan during the conflict occurred on February 8, 2020, when Army Sergeants 1st Class Javier Gutierrez and Antonio Rodriguez were killed in action, Stars and Stripes reported. An Army Staff Sergeant and Private First Class were killed the month before.
For the first time in 2 decades, the US has gone a year without a combat death in Afghanistan https://t.co/4dlnJHOpWg
— Hope Hodge Seck (@HopeSeck) February 8, 2021
Following their deaths, then-President Donald Trump and leaders of the Taliban signed a deal that pledged the U.S. would withdraw international forces by May if the Taliban stopped attacks on foreign troops and ceased using Afghanistan as a “springboard,” Stars and Stripes reported.
Despite the milestone, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has threatened a “return to war” if the U.S. did not meet the deadline for their troops to pull out of Afghanistan, Stars and Stripes reported. (RELATED: Biden Threatens Sanctions Against Burma Following Military Coup — Press Secretary Says It’s A ‘Message’ To China, Other Countries)
A congressional report that was set up to study the deal made in February suggested pushing the deadline back, according to Stars and Stripes. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan also said the U.S. was taking a hard look at the extent to which the Taliban are complying.”
The deputy head of the Taliban’s negotiating team said that if forces remained after the May deadline, the Taliban would “also kill them,” Stars and Stripes reported.