KABUL: Afghan forces-led operations helped derive a large portion of Taliban insurgents from the southern city of Ghazni over the last day or so, read a statement from the US Forces-Afghanistan on Tuesday.
“What we observed was the retreating Taliban attacking the more vulnerable surrounding districts, which Afghan forces are reinforcing,” US forces spokesman Lt. Col. Martin O’Donnell was quoted as saying in the statement.
However, the Taliban hiding amongst the Afghan populace posed a threat to civilian population, who were terrorized and harassed.
He said the Taliban falsely and repeatedly claimed they did not target civilians, but in fact they executed innocents, destroyed homes, burned a market and created the conditions for a potential humanitarian crisis with the attack.
“Clearly the Taliban have paid no heed to the calls of the Afghan people for them to reconcile and join the peace process.”
He said Task Force-Southeast, US Special Forces and 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade advisors were providing advice on things such as clearance operations and combined-arms integration.
From a US Forces-Afghanistan perspective, US airpower has killed more than 220 Taliban since August 10.
In addition to the initial strike on Friday, US forces conducted five strikes Saturday, 16 strikes Sunday, 10 Monday and none thus far Tuesday. Also, AH-64s from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Combat Aviation Brigade provided close-air support on Friday, Sunday and Monday.”