Washington: The US carried out airstrikes across Afghanistan in the last several days as part of an effort to support the Afghan security forces fighting Taliban insurgents, the Pentagon has said.  

The news of US airstrikes in Afghanistan came a day after America’s most senior military officer admitted that the Taliban had gained “strategic momentum,” with their forces now controlling about half of Afghanistan’s more than 400 district centres.

The Pentagon, however, refrained from giving any specifics of its airstrikes in Afghanistan.

“Without speaking to specifics, I can say that in the last several days, we have acted through airstrikes to support the ANDSF (Afghan National Defense and Security Forces) but I won’t get into tactical details of those strikes,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby told reporters at a news conference here.

“But we continue to be able to and we continue to, as the Secretary said yesterday, conduct airstrikes in support of the ANDSF,” he said.

The commander of US forces in the region, Central Command’s General Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie, would retain the authority to call for airstrikes in support of Afghan forces until the US withdrawal from Afghanistan was complete. According to a defence official, the US military has carried out approximately six or seven strikes in the past 30 days, mostly using drones to launch the strikes, CNN reported.

A US defence official on Thursday said that the strikes targeted “captured military equipment that the Taliban [were] able to seize from the ANDSF,” the Voice of America reported.

“There were enemy forces, enemy personnel targeted” alongside the captured equipment, the official added, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information. The Taliban in recent days swept across Afghanistan, pushing back the Afghan military and taking over significant swaths of territory as the US nears the ends of its withdrawal.

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