US general Kenneth McKenzie vows to continue air strikes supporting Afghan troops – Times of India

KABUL: The United States will continue air strikes in assist of Afghan forces combating the Taliban, a prime US general stated Sunday, because the insurgents press on with offensives throughout the nation.
Since early May, violence has surged after the insurgents launched a sweeping assault simply days after the US-led overseas forces started their ultimate withdrawal.
The Taliban’s lethal assault has seen the insurgents seize scores of districts, border crossings and encircle a number of provincial capitals.
“The United States has increased air strikes in the support of Afghan forces over the last several days, and we are prepared to continue this heightened level of support in the coming weeks if the Taliban continue their attacks,” General Kenneth McKenzie, head of the US Army Central Command, instructed reporters in Kabul.
McKenzie acknowledged that there have been powerful days forward for the Afghan authorities, however insisted that the Taliban had been nowhere shut to victory.
“The Taliban are attempting to create a sense of inevitability about their campaign. They are wrong,” he stated.
“Taliban victory is not inevitable.”
McKenzie’s remarks got here as Afghan officers within the southern province of Kandahar stated combating within the area had displaced about 22,000 households prior to now month.
“They have all moved from the volatile districts of the city to safer areas,” Dost Mohammad Daryab, head of the provincial refugee division, instructed AFP.
On Sunday, combating continued on the outskirts of Kandahar metropolis.
“The negligence of some security forces, especially the police, has made way for the Taliban to come that close,” Lalai Dastageeri, deputy governor of Kandahar province, instructed AFP.
“We are now trying to organise our security forces.”
Local authorities had arrange 4 camps for the displaced people who find themselves estimated to be about 154,000.
Kandahar resident Hafiz Mohammad Akbar stated his home had been taken over by the Taliban after he fled.
“They forced us to leave… I am now living with my 20-member family in a compound with no toilet,” stated Akbar.
Residents expressed issues the combating would possibly enhance in days forward.
“If they really want to fight, they should go to a desert and fight, not destroy the city,” stated Khan Mohammad, who moved to a camp together with his household.
“Even if they win, they can’t rule a ghost town.”
Kandahar, with its 650,000 inhabitants, is the second-largest metropolis in Afghanistan after Kabul.
The southern province was the epicentre of the Taliban’s regime once they dominated Afghanistan between 1996 to 2001.
Ousted from energy in a US-led invasion in 2001 after the September 11 assaults, the Taliban have spearheaded a lethal insurgency that continues to at the present time.
Their newest offensive launched in early May has seen the group take management of half of the nation’s about 400 districts.
Earlier this week, the chairman of the US joint chiefs of employees General Mark Milley stated the Taliban seem to have “strategic momentum” on the battlefield.
Global rights group Human Rights Watch stated there have been experiences the Taliban had been committing atrocities towards civilians in areas they’d captured, together with within the city of Spin Boldak close to the border with Pakistan they took earlier this month.
“Taliban leaders have denied responsibility for any abuses, but growing evidence of expulsions, arbitrary detentions, and killings in areas under their control are raising fears among the population,” stated Patricia Grossman, affiliate Asia director at HRW stated in a press release.
The authorities in the meantime introduced they’d arrested 4 males they stated belonged to the Taliban, accusing them of finishing up this week’s rocket assault on Kabul.
“A Taliban commander, Momin, along with his three other men, have been arrested. They all belong to the Taliban group,” ministry spokesman Mirwais Stanikzai instructed reporters in a video message.
At least three rockets landed close to the palace on Tuesday as President Ashraf Ghani and his prime officers carried out outside prayers to mark the beginning of the Muslim vacation of Eid al-Adha.
The assault was nevertheless claimed by the jihadist Islamic State group.

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