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US Forces Drop 751 Bombs on Taliban and Daesh in September

10 Octobre 2017

Newly released data collected by U.S. Air Force Central Command illustrates President Trump's increased use of force in Afghanistan.

US forces in September dropped 751 bombs against the Taliban and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria's (ISIS) Afghan branch, a 50 percent increase from the 503 dropped in August and the most since late 2010 during the Battle of Sangin.

The Air Force is attributing the success to President Trump's new strategy in Afghanistan, which more actively targets extremist groups in the region.

"Additionally, the recent addition of six F-16s at Bagram Air Base, coupled with more B-52 missions dedicated to Afghanistan, offer the additional strike capacity needed to target these groups", the report added.

However, the data included only airstrikes by aircraft that are the responsibility of Combined Forces Air Component Commander, and not the Afghan Air Force - suggesting the actual number of airstrikes could be higher.

In August, Trump unveiled a new strategy for Afghanistan in which he hinted at new rules of engagement that would allow airstrikes to increase.

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It mentioned a total of 751 bombs released by the USA military in Afghanistan last month, in what has become the highest monthly total in the past seven years.

"We are no longer bound by the need for proximity to our forces", Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee.

"It used to be we have to basically be in contact with that enemy", he said, explaining: "If they are in an assembly area, a training camp, we know they are an enemy and they are going to threaten the Afghan government or our people, [General John Nicholson, commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan] has the wherewithal to make that decision".

The same report shows that 3,550 coalition bombs were dropped in Iraq and Syria in September, a 30% decrease from August's record high of 5,075.

The data also marks a "key milestone" in the USA -led coalition's fight against ISIS in the group's territory in Iraq and Syria - surpassing 100,000 bombs since the start of the campaign in 2014.

US Forces Drop 751 Bombs on Taliban and Daesh in September