A decorated member of the U.S. Special Forces has died during combat in northern Afghanistan, the Pentagon announced Sunday.
Green Beret Sgt. Maj. James “Ryan” Sartor died Saturday after being injured by enemy fire Saturday. His death brings the number of fatalities among the U.S. military this year in the Afghanistan to 11.
Sartor’s death reportedly has brought the number of U.S. service members killed since the Afghan war started in October of 2001 to 2,430.
Sartor, 40, of Teague, Texas, had served multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan with the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) division.
“We’re incredibly saddened to learn of Sgt. Maj. James “Ryan” Sartor’s passing in Afghanistan. Ryan was a beloved warrior who epitomized the quiet professional,” said commander of 10th SFG (A), Col. Brian R. Rauen. “He led his soldiers from the front and his presence will be terribly missed.”
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed claimed on Saturday that the militant group was behind the killing but the claim has yet to be verified.
The U.S. has about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan, where they primarily advise Afghan forces who are battling the Taliban.