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US Rocket Strike Blows More Than 50 Taliban Leaders To Bits, Military Reveals

REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter

A U.S. rocket artillery attack in Afghanistan on May 24 killed at least 50 Taliban leaders, a U.S. military official revealed Wednesday.

Firing guided rockets, the U.S. strike obliterated a command-and-control position in Musa Qala in Helmand province where numerous senior Taliban leaders were gathered, Lieutenant Colonel Martin O’Donnell, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan, introduced, according to the Associated Press. He suggested that the impacts of the strike, which involved just four rockets, “will be felt beyond Helmand province.”

“It’s certainly a notable strike,” he explained, revealing that an unspecified number of senior and lower-level commanders have been killed since then. He commented that attacks would likely disrupt Taliban operations but not necessarily the battlefield combat, Reuters reported.

The Taliban apparently dismissed the military report as “propaganda,” claiming that the U.S. actually blasted two civilian residences.

In addition to strikes on fighters and commanders, the U.S.-led coalition has been increasingly targeting sources of revenue for the Taliban. Since the start of a new strategic bombing campaign last November, U.S. aircraft have carried out 113 strikes on Taliban revenue sources, such as narcotics operations, The Wall Street Journal revealed Wednesday.

Last August, President Donald Trump relaxed restrictions on American operations in Afghanistan, allowing the U.S. military to “go after the Taliban in a way that they had never been pressured before,” U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Lance Bunch told reporters. Discussing the strike in Helmand province last week, O’Donnell said that the attack was an example of the military using the expanded warfighting authorities provided by the president. (RELATED: US Air Force B-52 Shatters Bombing Record While Blowing Apart Taliban Training And Narcotics Facilities)

The U.S. has been waging war in Afghanistan for nearly 17 years, but the administration is eager to break the stalemate in this country.

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