Update: The Department of Defence has published the names of the two KIAs. Sgt. 1st Class Javier Jaguar Gutierrez, the senior communications sergeant (18E) on the ODA, and Sgt. 1st Class Antonio Rey Rodriguez, a SOT-A soldier, were killed during the incident. 

 

Yesterday, a Special Forces team was ambushed in Afghanistan by a rogue Afghan policeman. Two American commandos have been killed and six wounded. In addition, at least eight Afghan commandos have died as a result of the attack.

Sources with intimate knowledge of the incident told SOFREP that the Greens Berets of Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) 7313 and the company command team of A Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (A/3/7) had just finished a Key Leader Engagement (KLE) with local leaders when they were ambushed. The American element, which was accompanied by a partner force of Afghan Special Operations Forces (ANSOF) had moved to a nearby field to wait for extraction by helicopter. While they were in a Pickup Zone (PZ) posture, the rogue Afghan policeman attacked. The individual essentially mowed down the Special Forces operators and their partner force element with a heavy machinegun.

A Green Beret and a Special Operations Team-Alpha (SOT-A) soldier, who was attached to the team, were killed on the spot. The company executive officer was shot in the chest and is in critical condition; the company Sergeant Major was shot in the head. The rest of the American WIAs have gunshot wounds to the legs. All casualties have been evacuated to U.S. medical facilities.

Colonel Sonny Leggett, the spokesperson for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A) said that “an individual in an Afghan uniform opened fire on the combined U.S. and Afghan force with a machine gun. The motive behind the attack is unknown at this time. The incident is under investigation.”

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The Green-on-Blue (friendly forces attacking U.S. troops) incident took place in the Sherzad district of Nangarhar Province, which is located in eastern Afghanistan.

SOT-A soldiers are attached to Special Forces ODAs and provide tactical Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and Electronic Warfare (EW) capabilities.

ODAs are comprised of 12 Green Berets and specialize in Unconventional Warfare (UW), Foreign Internal Defence (FID), Direct Action (DA), and Special Reconnaissance (SR), among other things.

Colonel John W. Sannes, the commanding officer of the 7th SFG, said in a brief press statement that “several 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) Soldiers were injured or killed during combat operations in Afghanistan on February 8, 2020. The 7th Special Forces Group Headquarters is poised to support the Service Members and their families during this difficult time.” Adding that “the families of the deceased and wounded are being notified. In accordance with DoD policy, the names of the causalities are being withheld until 24 hours after their next of kin notification is complete.”

SOFREP is withholding the names of the KIAs and the numbers of the ODA and ODB until the DoD has notified their families.