US launched airstrikes to support Afghan forces: Pentagon

The US military in the past few days conducted airstrikes in Afghanistan to support the war-torn country’s security forces, the Pentagon said.

Ina statement on Thursday, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said that “in the last several days, we have acted, through airstrikes, to support the ANDSF (Afghan National Defense and Security Forces)”, without providing further details, reports Xinhua news agency.

Meanwhile, an unidentified defence official told the media that the US military conducted more than four airstrikes supporting Afghan forces on Wednesday and Thursday.

At least two of the strikes targeting military equipment that the Taliban had taken from the Afghan forces, and others targeting Taliban fighting positions, including at least one strike in the southern province of Kandahar, the official added.

The airstrikes came as the security situation in the war-torn country deteriorated and the US drawdown was almost completed.

General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a press briefing on Wednesday that about half of the 419 district centres in Afghanistan are under Taliban control.

“A significant amount of territory has been seized over the course of six, eight, 10 months by the Taliban strategic momentum appears to be sort of with the Taliban,” Milley said.

He acknowledged that the Taliban regime now controls about half of Afghanistan’s roughly 400 districts, but added they had taken none of the country’s densely populated main cities.

President Joe Biden had ordered the US military to end its mission in Afghanistan by August 31, days ahead of his original September 11 deadline.

US Central Command said last week over 95 per cent of the withdrawal had been completed.

The resurgent terrorists have made sweeping offensive against the Afghan army since May as America-led foreign troops depart.

https://www.thestatesman.com/world/us-launched-airstrikes-support-afghan-forces-pentagon-1502985281.html

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