AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: The Afghan Air Force will start a rain of laser-guided bombs on Taliban in the near future, a top U.S. general said recently.
“Three (Afghan) A-29 pilots are now trained to drop laser-guided munitions,” said General James Hecker, the commander of coalition air forces in Afghanistan. “The first was dropped in training in December, so the Taliban can look forward to those laser-guided bombs raining on what used to be safe havens in the near future.”
Addressing reporters at the Pentagon in a video teleconference from Kabul, Hecker said that the U.S. is shifting combat and intelligence – gathering aircraft to Afghanistan after successes in Iraq and Syria.
He said that U.S. now has 50 percent more MQ-9 intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft in Afghanistan.
The official, who mentioned delivery of more U.S. aircraft to Afghan Air Force, said that Afghans are now conducting more strike missions than the Americans. In 2017, the Afghan Air Force conducted approximately 2,000 airstrike sorties.
“We are putting unrelenting pressure on the enemy these days,” Hecker said.
The general said that currently, the Afghan Air Force has 12 A-29s, adding the force will get another 13.
Hecker said that over the past weekend, the U.S. forces conducted air operations to strike Taliban and East Turkestan Islamic Movement, training facilities in northeast Badakhshan province.
“The destruction of these training facilities prevents terrorists from planning any acts near the border with China and Tajikistan,” he said.