For the first time in seven years, U.S. forces in Afghanistan went a month without a combat casualty.
It’s the third time in a decade there has been a month without combat deaths in Afghanistan. The last time there was a combat casualty-free month in the war was January 2007, according to NBC News.
After more than a decade at war in Afghanistan, it’s a milestone for the U.S. and President Obama’s administration, which has sought to de-escalate its military involvement around the world.
U.S. troops are expected to fully withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of this year, following Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s refusal to sign the latest security agreement that would have left some troops in the country past 2014. American troops withdrew from Iraq in 2011.
Two allied soldiers died in March fighting alongside the U.S., though neither died in combat.
To date, 2,176 Americans have died in Afghanistan. Nearly 4,500 Americans died as a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The news—and expected withdrawal—come as violence appears to be escalating in Afghanistan, threatening the credibility of an election there. Instability in Ukraine has drawn calls for a more foreceful American intervention from Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain.