After Daesh published photos of a cache of weapons and an identification card belonging to an American soldier, a military official made a statement Tuesday claiming that US soldiers abandoned their weapons and equipment when they came under fire.
General Charles Cleveland, US military spokesman, said that no personnel were killed or positions overrun. “We have been able to determine that the ID card and most of the pictured equipment was lost during recent operations in southern Nangarhar,” he said in a statement.
Afghan alleged former Taliban fighters carry their weapons before handing them over as part of a government peace and reconciliation process at a ceremony in Jalalabad on February 24, 2016
© REUTERS/ Noorullah Shirzada
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Cleveland stated that troops had set up a location to manage casualties, a standard operation, and that the soldiers had to quickly vacate the location when they came under “effective enemy fire.”
The spokesperson said, “In the course of moving the (casualty collection point) to a safe location, some equipment was left behind. For understandable reasons, the lives of soldiers were not put at risk to recover the equipment.”
© Flickr/ DVIDSHUB
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After US President Barack Obama authorized increased American military support for the Afghan government, US aircraft and troops have taken a leading role in the conflict against extremist groups in the country. At least five US special force soldiers have been injured while fighting Daesh militants in Nangarhar in July. It has been speculated that the materials were left behind during this operation but Cleveland would not comment on specifics to “protect the privacy of those involved.”
Even though some sensitive materials were taken, the military spokesman said he doesn’t anticipate their being “any measurable operational impact” from them being taken. He said, “The loss of any equipment is regrettable, but no equipment is worth undue risk to those involved.”