US sends forces back into Afghanistan to stop Taliban advance on three key cities

The United States has sent B-52 bombers and Spectre gunships to Afghanistan in an attempt to stop Taliban insurgents marching towards three key cities.

B-52s are flying into Afghanistan from Qatar, hitting near Kandahar and Lashkar Gah in the Helmand province (The Times). In addition the US is also using drones and AC-130 Spectre gunships each day on at least five missions per day. This insurgence of the Taliban into these territories comes as US forces are withdrawing from the area. The Pentagon estimates the Taliban now controls half of Afghanistan’s 419 district centers.

The Taliban began their military campaign in May. This past Friday they were able to seize their first provincial capital, Zaranj in Nimroz. That same day they also assassinated the Afghan government’s chief media officer, Dawa Khan Menapal. The continued deployment of US bombers and gunships continues to show how reliant Afghan forces are on the US for support.

President Joe Biden has a deadline to withdraw from Afghanistan for August 31, but American defense has said they will continue with airstrikes after this deadline. Meanwhile, the Afghan government estimates over 40,000 families have been displaced since the beginning of the military campaign in May (Business Insider). 



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