Wed Aug 2, 2017 8:12PM
A US military helicopter flies over the site of a bomb that struck a NATO convoy in Kandahar south of Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 2, 2017. (AP Photo)
A US military helicopter flies over the site of a bomb that struck a NATO convoy in Kandahar south of Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 2, 2017. (AP Photo)

The Pentagon says two US service members are killed in a Taliban attack on a NATO convoy in southern Afghanistan.

The Taliban maintains the Wednesday attack near the Afghan city of Kandahar killed 15 soldiers and destroyed two armored tanks, but the Taliban routinely exaggerates about the damages and casualty figures and the reports are not confirmed by local sources.

“I can confirm that two US service members were killed in action in Kandarhar, Afghanistan, when their convoy came under attack,” said Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis.

Captain William Salvin, a spokesperson for Operation Resolute Support, has said it is not known at this time if the improvised explosive device was buried in the road or vehicle-borne.

US troops assess the damage to an armored vehicle of NATO-led military coalition after an attack in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.

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Kandahar province was the Taliban spiritual heartland and its headquarters during the five-year rule of the group, which ended with the US invasion. The United States -- under Republican George W. Bush’s presidency -- and its allies invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban regime from power, but after more than one and-a-half-decade, the foreign troops are still deployed to the country.

After becoming the president in 2008, Democrat President Barack Obama vowed to end the Afghan war -- one of the longest conflicts in US history – but he failed to keep his promise.

Trump, who has spoken against the Afghan war, has dubbed the 2001 invasion and following occupation of Afghanistan as "Obama's war", but now his administration is deciding whether to send about 4,000 or more US soldiers to Afghanistan, signaling a policy shift.

The combined US and NATO troop contingent currently in Afghanistan is about 13,500. There are currently over 8,000 US troops in Afghanistan serving in an advisory capacity under Resolute Support, as well as a counterterrorism mission, known as Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Twenty-six US service members have been killed in action since January 2015 supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Seven of the deaths occurred in 2017.