Following the announcement of the new US strategy on Afghanistan, US-Forces are reportedly preparing to increase their airstrikes against insurgent strongholds in the country.
The US-Forces and NATO Commander Gen. John Nicholson is closely monitoring the preparations, US officials said.
“We are here to support the ground troops,” said Ruuti, a service member of the US Air Force at Bagram Airbase.
The US-Forces are also preparing for missions in Afghanistan from a base in Germany.
“Nearly seven months of training for the Georgian specifically… After this we are going to go to Afghanistan and conduct the mission that was given to us,” said Capt. Ryan McGrail, Operations Officer at Georgia Liaison Team Rotation Six.
The Washington Post meanwhile reported Thursday that the bulk of the roughly 4,000 additional troops headed to Afghanistan could be composed of thousands of paratroopers.
The Post stated that more air support — in the form of more F-16 fighters, A-10 ground attack aircraft and additional B-52 bomber support, or a combination of all three — is also probably on the way, according to a US official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss plans that had not yet been made public. The B-52s will remain based in Qatar but will be tasked to cover Afghanistan, he said.
This comes after at least 27 civilians lost their lives in US airstrikes in Logar and Herat provinces in the past two days.
“The bombers’ systems are as accurate as they can surely follow their target even with a centimeter difference; but they (forces) are careless,” Atiqullah Amarkhail, a former commander of the Afghan Air Force told TOLOnews.
The Afghan Defense Ministry assured the public however that precision airstrikes would be carried out and said they are critical in terms of eliminating insurgents.
“Believe me that all the targets are fixed with attention and then the Army Chief of Staff orders to conduct the strike or not,” said Dawlat Waziri, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry.
“There are coordination centers for airstrikes. No airstrike is conducted without coordination with the Afghan security forces. But we accept that some mistakes have occurred in airstrikes both last year and this year,” said Najib Danish, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior.
This comes after the US President Donald Trump announced his new strategy on Afghanistan and South Asia last week stating that additional troops would be sent in to the country.