FILE PHOTO: Members of the Afghan Special Forces get ready before a combat mission against the Taliban, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, on July 11, 2021. (Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)
FILE PHOTO: Members of the Afghan Special Forces get ready before a combat mission against the Taliban, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, on July 11, 2021. (Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)

US bombs Taliban camps to help Afghan forces amid troop rollout: Pentagon

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.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Joydeep Bose | Edited by Meenakshi Ray, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JUL 23, 2021 11:04 AM IST

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.

The Pentagon categorically refused to divulge too many details about the airstrikes. The local media in Afghanistan, however, stated that at least five Taliban members were killed in the airstrikes carried out by the US over the past few days. An unnamed American defence official, cited by CNN, said that the US military has so far carried out approximately six or seven strikes in the past 30 days, mostly using drones to launch the strikes.

The US airstrikes targeted “captured military equipment that the Taliban [were] able to seize from the ANDSF," the official was quoted as saying.

The development comes in the backdrop of the Taliban sweeping across Afghanistan in recent days, pushing back the country's military forces and taking over significant swaths of territory as the US nears the ends of its troop withdrawal.

The Taliban are putting pressure on 17 of Afghanistan's 34 provincial capital, said General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Wednesday. Although he admitted that there is a possibility of a "complete Taliban takeover" of the country, General Milley asserted that "the end game is yet to be written".

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