A US defense official quoted by Fox News said on Friday that the United States military has launched two drone strikes against Taliban positions in northern Afghanistan.
The strikes came hours before President Ashraf Ghani’s meeting with US President Joe Biden on Friday, the report says.
An unknown number of Taliban fighters were killed in Baghlan and Kunduz provinces, where the strikes took place, Fox News reported.
The Ministry of Defense has not commented on the airstrikes, but the ministry in a statement on Friday said that the Afghan Air Force targeted Taliban positions in Imam Sahib, Khan Abad and Gor Tapa districts in the northern province of Kunduz.
The ministry said that 35 Taliban fighters were killed in the Afghan forces airstrikes in Kunduz, including three key commanders of the Taliban – Qari Jawad Hashemi, Haidari and Mawlawi Qadir.
This comes as Afghan forces retook the control of seven districts from the Taliban in three provinces since Thursday evening.
The districts include Andkhoi and Khan Chahar Bagh in Faryab, Khinjan and Doshi in Baghlan, and Ahmad Aba, Mirzaka and Sayed Karam in Paktia.
At the same time, sources said that three districts -- Khost Firing and Guzargah-e-Noor in Baghlan and Dolina in Ghor -- have fallen to the Taliban on Thursday and Friday.
Heavy fighting is underway between government forces and the Taliban in several areas in the country, particularly in the northern provinces of Baghlan, Kunduz, Faryab, and Sar-e-Pul where hundreds of locals have taken up arms to fight against the group in support of Afghan troops.
The US Central Command has said that the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), flagship of the Ronald Reagan carrier strike group (CSG), along with guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh (CG 67) and guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97), entered the US 5th Fleet area of operations on June 25.
While in the US 5th Fleet area of operations, the Ronald Reagan CSG will operate and train alongside regional and coalition partners and provide airpower to protect US and coalition forces as they conduct drawdown operations from Afghanistan, the US Central Command said.
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