NATO: Islamic State falsely claimed killing of 2 Americans in Afghanistan

NATO’s Resolute Support has issued a short statement denying that two Americans were killed while fighting the Islamic State’s Wilayah Khorasan (or ISIS-K). The jihadists claimed yesterday that they had “repelled” an attack by the “apostate” Afghan Army and the “Crusader American Forces” in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, which has been Wilayah Khorasan’s hub.

“The soldiers of Tawhid [monotheism] stood up against them using various types of weapons and rockets, killing 10 murtaddin [apostates] and injuring others,” the self-declared caliphate’s statement reads. “Likewise, an SPG-9 round destroyed an American Cougar vehicle and killed 2 Crusaders along with 3 Afghan soldiers.”

However, Resolute Support says the Americans were not killed, but instead wounded two days earlier, on July 7.

“As is usually the case, the ISIS-K claim of killing 2 US Soldiers in Nangarhar Province over the weekend is false,” US Navy Captain William K. Salvin, the Resolute Support spokesman, said in a statement released today. “Two service members were wounded on July 7th and were medically evacuated out of theater for treatment.”

Although Wilayah Khorasan’s statement was apparently wrong about the Americans’ fate, it appears that another significant engagement took place.

In April, three American service members were killed during operations against the Islamic State branch in Nangarhar. [See FDD’s Long War Journal reports: American soldier killed fighting Islamic State in Afghanistan and 2 American service members killed fighting Islamic State in eastern Afghanistan.]

That same month, the US dropped the “MOAB,” the GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast (also known as the “mother of all bombs”) in Nangarhar’s Achin district. Afghan officials initially said that the explosion caused 36 Islamic State casualties, but subsequently increased their estimate to 94 killed, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). The Islamic State has claimed that there were no casualties from the bombing.

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal.

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