U.S. and Afghan special operations troops in one of their largest joint operations captured a stronghold that Islamic State fighters claimed as their local capital, military officials said Saturday.
No Americans or Afghan troops were killed in the offensive, which the U.S. military said killed 167 fighters from the Islamic State group – also known as ISIS or Daesh – and involved a complex multipronged attack on Gurgoray, a town purported to be the group’s capital in Deh Bala district in Nangarhar province.
“This area, two months ago, was controlled by Daesh,” Brig. Gen. John W. Brennan Jr., commander of NATO forces in eastern Afghanistan, said at a special operations outpost in Deh Bala. “We pushed them into the mountains, so they cannot harm the people here.”
The U.S. and Afghan offensive involved five Special Forces teams and three Afghan commando companies. In total, 600 members of the U.S. Army Special Forces, also known as Green Berets, participated in the mission, which began in April and continued into June, a U.S. military officer said.