U.S. drops record number of bombs in Afghanistan

Airstrikes kill 12 militants in N. Afghanistan

Airstrikes kill 12 militants in N. Afghanistan

That set a record for the largest number of guided weapons dropped from a B-52 and followed the Air Force installing rotary launchers on the bombers over the past few years, the news release said.

The airstrike was meant to "destroy insurgent revenue sources, training facilities, and support networks".

U.S. Air Force Major General James Hecker, speaking to reporters in a video teleconference from Kabul, said on February 7 that U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) at the start of this month officially designated Afghanistan and the fight against the Taliban as its "main effort".

The Taliban stronghold of Helmand is the top opium-producing province in Afghanistan, the world's chief supplier of the illegal drug and its heroin derivative.

Over the past 96 hours in Afghanistan, the aircraft played a leading role against the Taliban, striking the militant group's training facilities in Badakhshan province with 24 smart bombs, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan said in a release.

United States Forces-Afghanistan said in a statement that the strikes targeted Taliban training bases and stolen Afghan National Army vehicles which were being converted into auto bombs.

They include 18 F-16s, 12 A-10 "Warthog" Thunderbolt II close-air support aircraft, half a dozen armed Reaper drones and a steady rotation of B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers that fly in from bases outside Afghanistan.

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The White House, however, has continued to support Porter even after the announcement of his resignation. Sanders also described Porter as "someone of the highest integrity and exemplary character".

"During these strikes, a U.S".

He said the goal for the NATO Air Command, which he leads, was to nearly triple the size of the Afghan Air Force over the next few years.

The Washington Post reported that the B-52s are not based in Afghanistan - instead flying from Al Udeid air base in Qatar, which is just south of Bahrain.

Empowered with more independence and authority under the Trump administration, the US military began its expanded air offensive campaign in the fall. "There will be no safe haven for any terrorist group bent on bringing harm and destruction to this country".

"The Taliban can not win on the battlefield, therefore they inflict harm and suffering on innocent civilians", said Gen. Nicholson. "That means we can strike at the heart of training camps, where they brainwash young men to strap on a suicide vest to kill themselves and their fellow Afghans who are working to rebuild the country".

The strikes are the latest in a series that began after President Donald Trump's new strategy in Afghanistan was announced in August.

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