Dec 25, 2019

Remains of American soldier killed in Afghanistan returned home

A U.S. Army carry team moves the transfer case containing the remains of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Goble at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Dec. 25. Photo: Mark Wilson / Staff/Getty Images

The remains of 33-year-old U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Goble, who was killed in Afghanistan on Monday in a roadside bombing, arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Wednesday, the AP reports.

The big picture: The Taliban has accepted responsibility for the attack that resulted in Goble's death. His unit was engaged in combat in the Kunduz Province when he suffered critical injuries, the Pentagon stated per AP.

Go deeper: Where U.S. troops and military assets are deployed in the Middle East

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Two U.S. service members killed in roadside explosion in Afghanistan

President Trump with American soldiers in Afghanistan on Thanksgiving 2019. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The Taliban claimed responsibility for a roadside bomb that killed two U.S. service members and wounded two others on Saturday in southern Afghanistan, AP reports, citing a statement from the U.S. military and Qari Yusouf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman.

Why it matters: More than 2,400 U.S. service members have been killed in Afghanistan since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion following the Sept. 11 attacks, AP writes. 23 U.S. soldiers died in 2019, making it the deadliest year for American service members since the U.S. amid attempted peace talks with the Taliban. The group now holds power over nearly half of Afghanistan.

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Keep ReadingArrowJan 11, 2020

Where U.S. troops and military assets are deployed in the Middle East

An American soldier stands guard during a joint patrol with Turkish troops in the Syrian village of al-Hashisha. Photo: Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. has maintained a costly presence in the Middle East for decades, with at least 60,000 troops currently stationed around the region, according to United States Central Command.

Driving the news: The killing of Iran's Gen. Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a U.S. drone strike has put the world on edge, with Iran promising revenge. The U.S. is preparing to deploy about 3,000 additional troops to the region, and had already sent 750 troops after protesters attacked the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 8, 2020 - World

Trump may reduce troops in Afghanistan without Taliban deal

Taliban leaders during peace talks with the U.S. in July in Qatar. Photo: Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images.

White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien told Axios in an exclusive interview that "it is possible" Trump will cut a deal with the Taliban this year but that even if a deal can't be struck, the president is still poised to reduce troops in Afghanistan.

Driving the news: "We're back in a situation where we're in talks with the Taliban," O'Brien said. "The Afghan forces are doing better, and I think we'll be in a position at some point soon, whether it's with a deal or without a deal, to reduce our military footprint in Afghanistan."

Go deeperArrowJan 12, 2020