US launched several airstrikes in support of Afghan forces
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military launched several airstrikes this week in support of Afghan government forces fighting Taliban insurgents, including in the strategically important province of Kandahar, officials said Thursday.
The strikes demonstrate U.S. intentions to continue supporting Afghan forces with combat aircraft based outside the country, at least until the scheduled conclusion of the U.S. military withdrawal on Aug. 31. The Biden administration has not said whether it will continue that support after the pullout is complete.
The U.S. has a variety of combat aircraft based in the Middle East within range of Afghanistan, including warplanes aboard an aircraft carrier in the region and fighters and bombers in the Persian Gulf area.
Asked by a reporter about news reports of a Navy FA-18 airstrike in the Kandahar area, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby did not confirm specifics, including the type of aircraft or location, but said, “In the last several days we have acted, through airstrikes, to support the ANDSF,” using an acronym for the Afghan national defense and security forces. “But I won’t get into technical details …
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