Soldiers Killed, Wounded in Green-on-Blue Attack in Nangarhar

By Faye Higbee

Afghanistan – Three American Soldiers were killed and one wounded in  a green-on-blue attack in Nangarhar Province over the weekend. The shootings took place in the Peka Valley in Eastern Afghanistan. The Taliban claimed responsibility. The Afghani ‘commando’ was killed in the return fire.

Sgt. Eric M. Houck, 25, of Baltimore, Maryland; Sgt. William M. Bays, 29 of Barstow, California; and Cpl. Dillon C. Baldridge, 22 of Youngsville, North Carolina were killed in the attack according to the Army press release. The men were assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Company D, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, KY.

The wounded soldier was medically evacuated. The Army stated the incident is under investigation.

Green-on-blue attacks

A green-on-blue” incident is also referred to as an “insider” attack where a member of the Afghan forces kills international troops.

“Such attacks are well planned when they are done by the Taliban. It seems most of them are manipulated and dragged into the trick of ‘fighting for Islam.’ Sometimes the Taliban also kidnap a family member of the soldier and blackmail him to kill the US troops to cause a maximum number of casualties in such attacks.” Kazem, Afghani soldier to Al-Jazeera

In the case of the attack over the weekend, the Taliban claimed they had “infiltrated” the ranks of the Afghan army specifically to kill soldiers. In March another attacker killed 3 American soldiers in Helmand Province.

Such attacks accounted for about 15% of coalition casualties back in 2012. One issue may be a total lack of trust between Afghans and international forces, but the fact that ISIS-K and the Taliban are vying for control of specific areas of Afghanistan also comes into play.  The district where this latest incident took place is Achin in Nangarhar Province, the same area where the US dropped the MOAB on an ISIS-K tunnel.



Featured photo via from Facebook photos. Left : Sgt Erik M Houck, Top right: Sgt William Bays, Bottom Right: Cpl Dillon Baldridge