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US service member killed in action in Afghanistan

A U.S. service member was killed in action in Afghanistan on Monday, December 23, the NATO Resolute Support mission said.

The service member’s identity will be withheld until 24 hours after next of kin are notified, in accordance with U.S. Department of Defense policy.

Update, December 24: U.S. Army Special Operations Command on Tuesday identified the service member as Special Forces Soldier Sergeant 1st Class Michael James Goble.

Goble, 33, was injured on December 22 by small arms fire while in combat in Kunduz province and died the next day, U.S. Army Special Operations Command Lieutenant Colonel Loren Bymer said.

US Special Forces Soldier Sgt 1st Class Michael James Goble
US Special Forces Soldier Sgt 1st Class Michael James Goble

“Sgt. 1st Class Goble was more than just a member of the 7th Special Forces Group, he was a brother to us, and a beloved family member to the Northwest Florida community,” said Col. John W. Sannes, 7th SFG (A) commander.

“We will honor our brother’s sacrifice and provide the best possible care to his family. We ask that you keep his Family and teammates in your thoughts and prayers.”

Goble was assigned as a Weapons Sergeant to Company C, 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne). The Green Beret first deployed to Afghanistan in March 2007 and then again in May 2008 before deploying to Argentina, Guatemala and Colombia through 2011. He served as a Sniper Instructor from March 2012 thru January 2016, and returned Company C, 1st Battalion, 7th SFG (A) as a Senior Intelligence Sergeant. He deployed to Korea in April 2018 and Colombia again that July, before returning to Afghanistan.

The Afghan Ministry of Defense said Monday that 17 raids against the Taliban had been carried out in the last 24 hours in 12 provinces.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said the insurgents had killed the unnamed service member in Kunduz province.

Goble is the 20th American soldier killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2019.

Resolute Support denied that the Taliban shot down a helicopter in Logar province last month. That crash killed two service members, Chief Warrant Officer 2 David C. Knadle and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kirk T. Fuchigami Jr.

On September 16, Sergeant 1st Class Jeremy W. Griffin, a Green Beret, was killed by Taliban small arms fire in Wardak province. Barely two weeks earlier, an American and a Romanian service member were killed in Kabul. A U.S. Army Special Forces soldier was killed during combat operations in Afghanistan’s southern Zabul province on August 29. Two U.S. Special Forces soldiers were killed in combat operations in Faryab province just days before on August 21, and three American forces were killed in Uruzgan and Faryab provinces in July.

Also in July a Croatian soldier serving with Resolute Support NATO Afghanistan was killed and two others seriously wounded in a Taliban suicide attack in Kabul.

There are about 12,000 American troops in Afghanistan, and President Donald Trump has tasked U.S. military officials with coming up with a plan to withdraw thousands of troops, even as talks with the Taliban have stalled. The insurgents targeted the U.S. airbase in Bagram last month, although they appeared to be unable to breach the base.

Afghanistan: Suicide bomber targets US airbase in Bagram

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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