​U.S. LAUNCHES MULTIPLE AIRSTRIKES WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY ON TALIBAN

The U.S. military launched multiple airstrikes this week on Wednesday and Thursday, to support Afghan government forces fighting the Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

The move comes as the U.S. is in its withdrawal phase from Afghanistan, included strikes on the strategically important province of Kandahar, officials said Thursday.  According to a defense official, there were more than four U.S. airstrikes on Wednesday and Thursday.  At least two targeted military equipment that the Taliban stole from Afghan forces.

President Joe Biden has said the U.S. withdrawal will be complete by August 31, but the airstrikes demonstrates U.S. intentions to continue supporting Afghan forces with combat aircraft based outside the country, or at least until the scheduled conclusion of the U.S. military withdrawal, as the Biden administrations has not said whether it will continue that support after the withdrawal completion.

The U.S. has numerous varieties of combat aircraft based in the Middle East, including warplanes aboard an aircraft in the regions as well as fighters and bombers in the Persian Gulf area, all within range of Afghanistan.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby, when asked by a reporter about the Navy FA-18 airstrike in the Kandahar area, did not confirm any specifics, including the type of aircraft or location, but said, “In the last several days we have acted, through airstrikes, to support the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces  (ANDSF).  But I won’t get into technical details of those strikes.”

U.S. General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the future of Afghanistan is in the hands of the Afghan people, urging them to assert their will on the battlefield.  “The Afghan security forces have the capacity to sufficiently fight and defend their country, and we will continue to support the Afghan security forces where necessary in accordance with the guidance from the president and the secretary of defense.” Milley said.

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