Five U.S. troops were wounded recently while fighting Islamic State militants in Afghanistan, the latest sign of an expanding U.S. mission in a war that just a few years ago appeared to be winding down.

The five American special operations troops were injured by small arms fire and shrapnel while conducting joint operations with Afghans in southern Nangarhar Province, home to the Islamic State’s offshoot in Afghanistan, defense officials said.

“I’d characterize it as a clearing operation,” said Army Gen. John “Mick” Nicholson, the commanding general of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

“They were clearing some of these areas … in southern Nangarhar, where Daesh previously had control, and they were helping our Afghan partners to regain control of those areas,” Nicholson told reporters Thursday, using an alternative term for the Islamic State group.

None of the injuries were life threatening, Nicholson said.

The operations in Nangarhar are an example of the expanding mission that President Barack Obama has approved this year for the roughly 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Read More- Military Times

Image courtesy of AP