Two US servicemembers slain in combat in Afghanistan

Two US servicemembers slain in combat in Afghanistan

Not counting Monday's casualties, 53 service members have been killed in hostile action in Afghanistan since the formal drawdown of combat operations in 2014 following a 13-year war.

A news release by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation stated only that the soldiers had been killed, and that in accordance with department of defence policy, their names would not be released until 24 hours after the soldiers' families had been notified.

Pompeo also suggested that troop withdrawal is connected to how the United States president views his job performance, saying a reduction of forces is "not only my expectation, it would be job-enhancing".

In a June visit to Afghanistan's capital city, Pompeo said that the USA had made it clear to the Taliban that they were "prepared to remove our forces", but had not yet agreed on a timeline.

Washington was ultimately forced to engage into direct talks with the Taliban and in January reached an "agreement on principle" that all the foreign troops must leave Afghanistan.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo walks from a helicopter to return to his plane at the end of an unannounced visit to Kabul, Afghanistan, June 25, 2019. Draw down. Reduce", Pompeo said Monday in Washington, adding with a smile, "It's not only my expectation. Khalilzad was still in Afghanistan on Monday after more than a week of meetings.

Pompeo said Trump had directed him to reduce USA troops before the 2020 presidential election. The service branch of the two troops was not identified, nor was their location in Afghanistan or the nature of their deaths.

"That's my directive from the president of the United States". He recently stirred outrage by suggesting that he could bring a swift end to the war by obliterating the nation. "We're like policemen. We're not fighting a war. I just don't want to kill 10 million people".

The disclosure of a timeline will add to speculation that Trump is prepared to strike any deal with the Taliban insurgency that will allow for at least partial US withdrawal before American voters go to the polls, irrespective of concerns by the USA -backed government in Kabul.

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