US troops go one year without combat death in Afghanistan

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A year has passed since the last US service member was killed in combat in Afghanistan — the first such stretch since the war started almost 20 years ago, a report said Tuesday.

The last two Americans who died in battle in the country — Army Sgts. 1st Class Javier Gutierrez and Antonio Rodriguez — were slain on Feb. 8, 2020, Stars and Stripes reported.

But the period of calm, which coincides with the US-Taliban peace deal, could be threatened if the US decides to keep troops in Afghanistan past a May 2021 deadline, the military newspaper reported.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told the outlet that if the US rejects the deal, signed last February, insurgents “will definitely return to war.”

Under the deal, the US promised the removal of troops in exchange for, among other things, the Taliban preventing terrorist groups from using Afghan soil to attack foreign forces.

The future of the deal remains uncertain, with the Biden administration vowing to review it, along with other Trump-era foreign policies.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the administration would review “whether the Taliban was living up to its commitments to cut ties with terrorist groups, to reduce violence in Afghanistan, and to engage in meaningful negotiations with the Afghan government and other stakeholders,” according to a press release obtained by Fox News.

Sullivan spoke with Afghan national security adviser Hamdullah Mohib on Jan. 22 about the review, the report said.

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