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US steps up airstrikes on Taliban for leverage in talks
International

US steps up airstrikes on Taliban for leverage in talks

Agency News

Washington, Feb 9 : Washington has stepped up its airstrikes and raids targeting Taliban leadership and militants in Afghanistan in a bid to obtain leverage in peace talks with the movement, US Department of Defence on Saturday said.

The Taliban has reportedly complained about the increased number of airstrikes.

The United States dropped over 7,000 bombs, missiles and other munitions on Afghanistan in 2018, a dramatic increase compared to 2,365 in 2014.

Since September alone, the Pentagon has carried out over 2,000 airstrikes and artillery strikes in Afghanistan.

A representative of the Taliban movement, Mullah Abdul Salam Hanafi, said on Wednesday that the United States had pledged to withdraw half of US troops, which have been fighting against the Taliban and the Islamic State terror group (banned in Russia) in Afghanistan since 2001, from the country by the end of April. (UNI)