U.S. launches several airstrikes to support Afghan forces: Pentagon

(Xinhua/Liu Jie)
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WASHINGTON, (Xinhua) — The U.S. military in the past few days conducted airstrikes in Afghanistan to support Afghan security forces, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

According to media reports, 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 details.

A defense official told the Associated Press that the U.S. 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, said the report.

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These airstrikes came as the security situation in the war-torn country deteriorated and the U.S. drawdown was almost completed.

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

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

President Joe Biden had ordered the U.S. military to end its mission in Afghanistan by Aug. 31, days ahead of his original Sept. 11 deadline. U.S. Central Command said last week over 95 percent of the withdrawal had been completed.