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US airstrikes in Kandahar roil Taliban

AT News

KABUL: A string of airstrikes launched by US military have pounded Taliban sanctuaries in southern Kandahar in recent days to support Afghan security forces fighting the Taliban, US officials said.

Pentagon spokesman John F. Kirby confirmed on Thursday that US forces have been supporting Afghan security forces through airstrikes.

The strikes have taken the Taliban by surprise with their spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, saying the group won’t remain silent to the attacks.

He told the BBC that the Taliban’s positions in Kandahar province and a number of other areas had been bombed by US forces. He said the Taliban would not remain indifferent to the attacks.

Mujahid said the Taliban blamed US forces for the bombing and strongly condemned it. He said the attacks were a “clear disobedience” by the Americans to the provisions of the Doha agreement and that the United States would be responsible for the consequences.

This is the first US airstrike on Taliban positions during the mission of Frank Kent McKenzie, the new commander of US Central Command, who is also in charge of the Afghanistan mission. Mr. McKenzie has recently taken over responsibility for US forces in Afghanistan.

One of the provisions of the Doha Agreement was the reduction of violence in Afghanistan. The Afghan government and its international allies have repeatedly accused the Taliban of escalating violence over the past year.

Earlier, US drones targeted Taliban positions in northern Afghanistan.

Less than a month ago, US drones launched two airstrikes against Taliban positions in northern Afghanistan.

The two attacks took place in Baghlan and Kunduz provinces, killing a number of Taliban fighters.

The Taliban group at the time issued a newsletter condemning the attacks.

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