Defense

US carries out strikes against Taliban in support of Afghan forces

The U.S. military carried out two strikes against the Taliban Thursday night targeting captured equipment, multiple defense officials said, according to CNN.

The two strikes were in support of the Afghan forces in Kandahar province. 

In the final phases before the U.S. withdraws from Afghanistan, the U.S. military has maintained the ability to carry out missile strikes supporting Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF). However, the strikes have come few and far between in recent weeks. 

"I can say that in the last several days, we have acted through airstrikes to support the ANDSF, but I won't get into technical details of those strikes," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in an off-camera press briefing Thursday.

Three of the last four strikes targeted stolen equipment, including equipment transferred from the U.S. to ANDSF that was later captured by the Taliban, according to CNN.

The Taliban has been sweeping the country, pushing back the Afghan military and overtaking significant areas of territory as the U.S. withdraws from the country. U.S. Central Command said the withdrawal is more than 95 percent complete, according to CNN. 

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday that the Taliban controls about 212 of Afghanistan's 419 district centers, indicating the Taliban's success. 

However, Milley said that he is confident in the Afghan military to defend themselves against the Taliban takeover. 

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