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US launches new air strikes campaign in Afghanistan

The United States has launched a new air campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan, dropping a record number of precision guided bombs on their targets over the past 24 hours, the US military announced on Tuesday.

The announcement said that the campaign has been expanded to northern Afghanistan too, targeting Taliban installations near the border with China and Tajikistan. Besides destroying insurgent hideouts, the new campaign also aims at eliminating Taliban training facilities and support networks, the US military added.

During these strikes, a US Air Force B-52 strategic bomber dropped 24 precision guided weapons on Taliban fighting positions, setting a record of the most guided weapons ever released from the aircraft. US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft also participated in these day and nighttime missions.

The US military pointed out that the first phase of this campaign began in November, two months after President Donald Trump announced his new Afghan strategy, which seeks to defeat the Taliban to force them to join the US-backed setup in Kabul.

In the first phase, the campaign focused on Taliban-linked narcotics producing labs in the largest southern province of Helmand with a mission to cut the insurgents’ main source of revenue.

The US military said Tuesday’s precision-guided bombing was part of a 96-hour air campaign that struck training facilities and also sources of revenue like narcotics. The strikes aimed at stolen Afghan National Army vehicles as well that “being converted to vehicle-borne” improvised explosive devices, the statement added.

Some Taliban training facilities destroyed in the bombing were in Badakhshan province, which borders both China and Tajikistan.

The precision-guided bombs were dropped on Taliban fighting positions, setting a record of the most guided munitions ever dropped from a B-52.

 

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