US Defense Secretary, Ash Carter said in a statement he was “deeply saddened” by the death of a U.S. service member while on an advisory mission in southern Afghanistan, as well as six others injured.
“I was deeply saddened to learn one of our service members was killed today and another wounded while engaged in our mission to train, advise and assist Afghan forces,” Carter said in a statement.
“Six Afghan soldiers were also injured in the ‘improvised explosive device’ blast. My thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of the service member killed and all those injured,” he said.
Carter said the event shows that Afghanistan remains a “dangerous place.”
“This tragic event in Helmand province reminds us that Afghanistan remains a dangerous place, and there is difficult work ahead even as Afghan forces continue to make progress in securing their own country,” he said.
The attack comes a day after the Pentagon announced the deployment of 100 U.S. forces to Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital and traditional heartland of the Taliban, which has stepped up attacks against U.S.-backed government forces in recent months as it regains territory in the north and south.
In the meantime, US Press secretary Peter Cook said the forces were sent to provide “training, advise and assist” work to Lashkar Gah, and to provide protection for those advisers. The advisers will assist the police zone headquarters and their leadership team, he said.
“There still are challenges in Afghanistan, there are dangerous places in Afghanistan. But we continue to support Afghan forces that have shown progress and resiliency in recent months, including in Helmand Province, and this reflects again our support for their efforts,” US Press secretary Peter Cook said.
Peter Cook has stated that fighting against terrorism is in interest of Pakistan.
Recently, Pakistan lost $ 300 million of America’s aids that was provided for fight against Haqqani Network.
“Well, we continue to have a close relationship with Pakistan with regard to terrorism and fighting terrorism. It’s obviously in Pakistan’s own interest and the United States interest to combat terrorism in as many ways as possible. We’ll continue working closely with Pakistan and we’ve seen, of course, significant efforts on the part of the Pakistanis.” Cook said.
President Barack Obama technically ended the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014, but the dangers posed by the Taliban – combined with the Afghan military’s inability to support itself – forced him to continually delay his plans for withdrawal.
The U.S.-led coalition’s presence had been focused exclusively on supporting the Afghan forces but not engaging the Taliban directly, while also hunting other extremist groups such as al-Qaida, the Haqqani Network and the Islamic State group.
That strategy changed again in June, when Obama granted his military advisers’ request to allow U.S. war fighters to directly target the Taliban in support of Afghan missions.