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New US forces air campaign expands to the north of Afghanistan

AT-KABUL: The United States Forces-Afghanistan launched a series of precision strikes in northern Afghanistan in a direct effort to destroy insurgents’ revenue sources, training facilities, and support networks.

A press statement issued by the US-Forces Afghanistan, said that over the past 96 hours, U.S. forces conducted air operations to strike Taliban training facilities in Badakhshan province, preventing the planning and rehearsal of terrorist acts near the border with China and Tajikistan. The strikes also destroyed stolen Afghan National Army vehicles that were in the process of being converted to vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices.

During these strikes, a U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress dropped 24 precision guided munitions on Taliban fighting positions, setting a record of the most guided munitions ever dropped from a B-52. The aircraft has played a leading role in Air Force operations for decades, and was recently reconfigured with a conventional rotary launcher to increase its reach and lethality.

Continued U.S. strikes disrupt Taliban support networks in Helmand province, as well as destroy their sources of revenue such as illegal narcotics.

Ongoing strikes in Helmand continue to degrade Taliban revenue sources and safe havens. U.S. strikes and ASSF raids have resulted in the removal of more than $30 million of Taliban revenue since the campaign began in November, 2017.

“The Taliban have nowhere to hide,” said General John Nicholson, commander, USFOR-A. “There will be no safe haven for any terrorist group bent on bringing harm and destruction to this country.”

Over the past year, U.S. precision strikes and the efforts of the Afghan Air Force and Afghan Special Security Forces have prevented Taliban fighters from capturing Kunduz City. The Taliban continue to fail in their attempts to recapture lost territory in other areas. In 2017, the Taliban did not capture a single provincial capital, despite repeated boasts and attempts. Faced with failure on the battlefield, they have turned to targeting civilians as the only tactic they have left.

“The Taliban cannot win on the battlefield, therefore they inflict harm and suffering on innocent civilians,” said Nicholson. “All they can do is kill innocent people and destroy what other people have built.”

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