The United States has recently launched air strikes in Afghanistan, according to the Pentagon.
The Pentagon stated Thursday that the US recently carried out air attacks in support of the Afghan army’s efforts to repel a Taliban offensive, with the departure of international soldiers from the country nearly complete.
“We have acted through air strikes to support the ANDSF in the previous several days,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said, referring to Afghan government forces.
“We continue to… execute airstrikes in support of the ANDSF,” he told reporters at a press conference, adding that the strike had been authorized by US Army Central Command (Centcom) chief General Kenneth McKenzie.
Kirby said he couldn’t comment on the air strikes, but he echoed Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s comments on Wednesday that the US is “committed to assisting the Afghan security forces and the Afghan government going forward.”
Many fear that the withdrawal of international soldiers will weaken Afghan forces’ tactical advantage against the Taliban, despite the fact that Afghanistan’s own budding air force is flying into the breach.
On Wednesday, General Mark Milley, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that the Taliban government currently controls about half of Afghanistan’s 400 districts, but that they had not taken any of the country’s heavily populated big cities.
He claimed that the US pullout, which was supposed to be completed by August 31, is already 95% complete.
Since May, when American-led foreign soldiers withdrew, resurgent insurgents have launched a massive attack against government forces.
On Thursday, a Taliban spokesman informed Russian media that the group now controls 90% of Afghanistan’s borders, however this claim could not be independently verified. The militants are infamous for exaggerating their claims on the battlefield.