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U.S. Military Expands Air Campaign in Afghanistan to Hurt Taliban

(Last Updated On: February 8, 2018)

The U.S. military has expanded its air campaign in Afghanistan, striking insurgents in Badakhshan province in northeastern part of the country.

“Over the past weekend, United States forces conducted air operations to strike Taliban and East Turkestan Islamic Movement, or ETIM, training facilities in Badakhshan province,” said Major General James B. Hecker, the U.S. top Air Force general in Afghanistan on Wednesday.

Speaking with the  reporters in Washington via teleconference, the U.S. general warned Taliban militant group against laser-guided bombs that will rain over their safe havens in the near future.

Meanwhile, he said the size and capabilities of the Afghan Air Force (AAF) are growing.

He added that the size of the AAF will be tripled, adding that AAF has 12 A-29s at the moment and it will go up to 25 in the future.

He also announced that the AAF will get a total of 32 AC208s in the future that will strengthen their capability.

“Additionally, we’ve taken MD530 attack helicopters and transformed them into a very robust platform. The Afghans have 25 of these right now, and they’re going to get five more each quarter until they have a total of 55 in about a year and a half,” Gen. Hecker said.

In 2017, the AAF has conducted approximately 2,000 airstrikes, roughly 40 strikes each week.

According to the U.S. official, the Afghan airstrikes are now almost doubled compare to what the U.S. Air Force conducts in Afghanistan against the insurgents.

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