Pentagon – US bombs Taliban to support Afghan forces
The US carried out airstrikes across Afghanistan in the last several days as part of an effort to support the local administration in pushing back the Taliban, news agencies reported on Friday citing officials familiar with the matter in the Pentagon. As many as five Taliban insurgents have died in the strikes, local reports added.
With the Taliban increasing their advances in Afghanistan in the wake of the drawdown of American and Nato military forces, the United States has once again come to the aid of the Afghan security forces fighting the insurgents, the Pentagon said. “Without speaking to specifics, I can say that in the last several days, we have acted through airstrikes to support the ANDSF (Afghan National Defense and Security Forces) but I won’t get into tactical details of those strikes,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters on Thursday at a news conference in Washington.
General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff on Wednesday, had said that the Taliban are propagating “inevitable victory” in Afghanistan with control over nearly 212 district centres.
“There is clearly a narrative out there that Taliban are winning. In fact, they are propagating inevitable victory on their behalf. As of today, more or less, I guess it is about 212, 213, it is in that range. The district centres are in Taliban control, it is about half of the 419 that are out there,” Milley had said.
“There’s a possibility of a complete Taliban takeover or a possibility of any number of other scenarios, breakdown, warlordism, all other kinds of scenarios that are out there. We’re monitoring very closely, I don’t think the end game is yet written,” he said.
According to a defence official, the US military has carried out approximately six or seven strikes in the past 30 days, mostly using drones to launch the strikes, CNN reported. The Taliban in recent days swept across Afghanistan, pushing back the Afghan military and taking over significant swaths of territory as the US nears the ends of its withdrawal.