UNITED STATES: The United States has once again come to the aid of the Afghan security forces fighting the Taliban insurgents, the Pentagon said.
With the advancing Taliban militia in the wake of American and Nato military forces pull-back from Afghanistan, the U.S. carried out airstrikes across Afghanistan in the last several days, news agencies reported on Friday citing officials familiar with the matter in the Pentagon.
Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Thursday at a news conference in Washington, that the airstrikes were an effort to support the ANDSF (Afghan National Defense and Security Forces) in pushing back the Taliban.
At least five Taliban insurgents have died in the strikes over the past few days, local media reported.
According to a defence official, the U.S. military has carried out around six or seven strikes in the past 30 days, mostly using drones to launch the strikes, CNN reported. The U.S. airstrikes targeted “captured military equipment that the Taliban [were] able to seize from the ANDSF,” the official said in a statement.
Withdrawal deal background – the wrath of Taliban
In April, President Joe Biden announced that U.S. troops would withdraw by September 11, angering the Taliban who had expected the withdrawal to be completed by May as per the withdrawal deal brokered by the Trump administration.
Since Biden’s withdrawal decision, violence has risen sharply with the militants launching major offensives, calling seize over districts and important border crossings.
Continuing such wrath, the Taliban in recent days has spread its claws across Afghanistan, pushing back the Afghan military and taking over significant swaths of territory as the U.S. nears the end of its withdrawal.
General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Wednesday, said that the Taliban are putting pressure on 17 of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capital.
“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.
U.S. Central Command, which is in charge of Afghanistan, said recently that the withdrawal of U.S. forces is more than 95% complete.
Biden has said the withdrawal would be complete by the end of August.
Approximately 650 troops are set to remain in the country to maintain the U.S. diplomatic ties with Afghanistan.