The US Forces Commander in Afghanistan General John Nicholson visited the American troops base in Laghman on Thursday to assess security of the eastern parts of the country.
Nicholson said the Afghan forces’ offensives, backed by US Air Force, have prevented the collapse of districts and provincial centers to the Taliban and other groups.
The US general said the Afghan security and defense forces with the support of the Resolute Support forces have inflicted heavy losses to the Taliban and other groups.
“The success of the Afghan operations around the country supported by Resolute Support and US forces have caused the enemy high casualties everywhere. This has caused them to stop their attempts to seize provincial capitals, to stop trying to seize districts and instead return to these horrible suicide attacks, which target civilians, innocent civilians, with indiscriminate bombing in the cities,” Nicholson told TOLOnews.
He added: “So this is something that exposes the hypocrisy of the Taliban. The Taliban pledged to not cause civilian casualties and now they are taking credit for horrendous attacks that are killing hundreds of civilians, and we are committed to work with the Afghan security forces to protect the Afghan people and to prevent this from happening in the future.”
Afghan Army Chief of Staff Gen. Sharif Yaftali said the recent airstrikes by Afghan and foreign forces have been ‘very effective’ and that the progress of these operations will soon bring a positive change on the battlegrounds.
“The recent (air) operations were very effective for suppressing the Taliban,” Yaftali told TOLOnews.
“You witnessed that the operations in Helmand and Badakhshan and other parts of the north (of Afghanistan) were very successful, and another good point of the operations was that they resulted in no civilian casualties.”
The foreign forces showed the heavy military equipment at the base and said they will use them to target terrorist strongholds.
“Our mission here is to “reign denial” and support operations of Resolute Support,” said Jonathan James, a US Army soldier in the east of Afghanistan. He said the reign denial is the night operations conducted at night in order to prevent civilian casualties.
This comes after a US Air Force B-52 bomber recently increased its strikes against insurgents in the north of the country after focused air raids in the south.
The latest airstrike of the US B-52 bomber targeted Taliban hideouts, their fighters and stolen Afghan National Army vehicles, according to US forces in Afghanistan.
The airstrike has reportedly targeted Taliban strongholds, training camps and drugs processing centers in bordering areas between Afghanistan’s Badakhshan with Tajikistan and China.
Footage made public shows how the US B-52 bomber targets two narcotics centers of insurgents in Helmand province – in the south of Afghanistan.
The recent move by the US Air Force was the first in the past 14 years in which a B-52 bomber targeted northern and north-eastern parts of Afghanistan.
Jawzjan provincial officials – in the north of Afghanistan – confirmed that a B-52 airplane targeted Daesh centers in which 25 fighters were killed.
Analysts said the B-52 airstrikes targeted areas which are difficult for ground forces to access and areas outside of government’s control.