Over the weekend, militants linked to Islamic State released photos that purport to show weapons and equipment that belonged to American soldiers and were captured by the group in eastern Afghanistan.
The photos, which came to light on Saturday, show an American portable rocket launcher, radio, grenades and other gear not commonly used by Afghan troops, as well as close up views of identification cards for a U.S. Army soldier, Specialist Ryan Larson. In an emailed statement, Brig. Gen. Charles Cleveland, the deputy chief of staff for the U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan, said the soldier had not been captured and is currently with his unit.
Soldier - ISIS - US - Command - Kabul
However, contrary to report that the soldier may have been captured by ISIS, the U.S. military command in Kabul denied any such suggestion, saying he "has been accounted for and remains in a duty status within his unit." American special operations troops have been fighting alongside Afghan forces in a renewed offensive against militants who claim allegiance to Islamic State in Nangarhar Province, which borders Pakistan.
"SPC Larson was attached to a unit conducting a partnered (operation) with Afghan Forces," U.S. military spokesman Commander Ron Flesvig said in an emailed statement on Sunday. "The soldier's I.D. and some of the equipment were left behind after the (operation). The loss of personal identification is unfortunate."
Clarity - US - Weapons - Website - Photos
There was less clarity about where the supposedly US weapons came from. The website that published the photos speculated that the equipment and weapons were left behind during that engagement, but Flesvig said American officials are still trying to determine exactly when and how it was lost.
The push in Nangarhar came after President Barack Obama cleared American troops to take a more active role in fighting militants in Afghanistan.
WaPo - Weapons - Ops - Forces
According to the WaPo, the captured weapons may have come from Special Ops forces fighting on the...
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