Sunday, 20 May, 2018

B-52 drops record number of smart bombs on Taliban

Image      The B-52 'Stratofortress' has been operated since the 1950s. File pic Image The B-52 'Stratofortress' has been operated since the 1950s. File pic
Ray Hunter | 09 February, 2018, 08:26

Hecker said the "weight and effort" of the US intelligence community will be shifted to Afghanistan within the next month.

Over the past 96 hours in Afghanistan, the aircraft played a leading role against the Taliban, striking the militant group's training facilities in Badakhshan province with 24 smart bombs, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan said in a release.

Gresback said that in addition to the Taliban, the USA -led military coalition in Afghanistan has targeted the East Turkestan Islamic Movement in the operation. The movement seeks an independent state that would stretch across several countries in southwestern Asia, including Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Afghanistan, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

Hecker also showed video of strikes against a narcotics production facility and a van carrying Taliban fighters in Helmand Province. "USA strikes and ASSF [Afghan Special Security Forces] raids have resulted in the removal of more than $30 million of Taliban revenue since the campaign began in November 2017", added the press release.

The Pentagon's refocus officially began on February 1. US strikes and ASSF raids have resulted in the removal of more than $30 million of Taliban revenue since the campaign began in November, 2017. Trump and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis have declined to provide a timetable for the plan, saying that doing so would take away leverage.

Tillerson says United States "disappointed" at Polish president signing anti-defamation bill
The United States , a close North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally of Poland , expressed disappointment at Duda's decision. The right-wing government says the law is necessary to protect the reputation of Poles as victims of Nazi aggression.

"The Taliban have nowhere to hide", Gen.John Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan, said in the release.

ISIS has "metastasized" in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, home to the highest concentration of USA -designated terrorist groups in the world, top Trump administration officials told the Senate committee.

"The Taliban can not win on the battlefield, therefore they inflict harm and suffering on innocent civilians", said 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. US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft also participated in these day and nighttime missions.

The United States has started shifting combat and intelligence-gathering air assets to Afghanistan as the battle against the Islamic State (IS) extremist group is winding down in Iraq and Syria, a top commander in Afghanistan says.

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