Afghanistan- Afghan Officials Welcome US Raids on Taliban

New US forces air campaign expands to the north of Afghanistan

Afghan Officials Welcome US Raids On Taliban

The bombing has been carried out over the past four days in Badakhshan province's Wurduj district, said Navy Capt. Tom Gresback, a USA military spokesman in Kabul.

Hecker said the annihilation of these training facilities prevents insurgents from planning terrorist attacks near Afghanistan's border with China and Tajikistan.

A leading USA military commander says the latest airstrikes are "just one part of the effort in Afghanistan, but it's a very intimidating one" against the Taliban.

The Afghan government has welcomed the US Air Force B-52 airstrikes on Taliban targets in the north of Afghanistan and called for more raids on the resurgent group.

Badakhshan is a sparsely populated area that sits in the Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges.

For years, the Pentagon has accused Pakistan of harboring terrorists who are fighting US troops and their allies in Afghanistan, something that Islamabad denies.

The announcement of the record number strikes near China came on the same day that a top Pentagon official told Senate Committee on Foreign Relations that U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is promoting counterterrorism cooperation with Beijing in Afghanistan.

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Even as the US adds air power, the size and capabilities of the Afghan air force are growing, Hecker said.

"While U.S. air power is destroying Taliban support elements in the deep fight, Afghan A-29 [Super Tucanos] and MD-530 helicopters provide quick, lethal support to Afghan ground forces in the close fight", Hecker said.

Under President Trump, the US military has launched a record number of airstrikes against terrorist groups such as the Taliban and its alleged rival the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).

"The Taliban can not win on the battlefield, therefore they inflict harm and suffering on innocent civilians", said Gen. Nicholson. "That means we can strike at the heart of training camps, where they brainwash young men to strap on a suicide vest to kill themselves and their fellow Afghans who are working to rebuild the country".

The Washington Post reported that the B-52s are not based in Afghanistan - instead flying from Al Udeid air base in Qatar, which is just south of Bahrain. Other strike aircraft are based in Afghanistan, including F-16 jets flown from Bagram air base and A-10 attack jets that recently arrived at Kandahar Airfield in the southern part of the country.

He said one main benefit to coalition forces in Afghanistan was the increased support from US intelligence agencies, which will allow the military to better identify targets to strike in the country, according to RFE/RL. Other bombing was carried out by the Navy and Marine Corps, but those statistics were not immediately available.

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