23 July 2021: The US has launched several overnight airstrikes in Afghanistan over the past few days to support the security forces fighting the Taliban, Pentagon confirmed on Thursday. The airstrikes have killed at least 5 Taliban terrorists in several provinces in the last three days.
Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby confirmed the US airstrikes in Afghanistan in an off-camera interview quoted by ANI saying, “In the last several days, we have acted through airstrikes to support to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF). But we continue to be able to and we continue to, as the Secretary (US Defence) said yesterday, conduct airstrikes in support of the ANDSF.”
The Pentagon spokesperson stated that while he could not provide details on the airstrikes, the US was committed to helping the Afghan security forces and the Afghan government going forward.
On Wednesday, General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff announced that the US will continue their humanitarian support to Afghan Security Forces where necessary and would monitor the situation closely to make adjustments as necessary. The top general asserted that the future of Afghanistan is squarely in the hands of the Afghan people and emphasized that there is a range of possible outcomes in Afghanistan.
“The future of Afghanistan is squarely in the hands of the Afghan people, and there are a range of possible outcome in Afghanistan. And I want to emphasise repeatedly, and I have said this before, a negative outcome, a Taliban automatic military takeover, is not a foregone conclusion,” said Milley.
With the US troops’ exit from Bagram Airfield after nearly 20 years, the Taliban moved swiftly to take over Afghanistan claiming control over large swathes of Afghan territory. As per the latest statement by the Taliban, it now claims to assert control over 90 per cent of Afghanistan’s borders and has once again taken over the strategic border crossing of Spin Boldak along the frontier with Pakistan which the Afghan forces had “reclaimed”.(With Agency Inputs)