|US steps up bombing, uses stealth fighters in Afghanistan|
Friday, 24 November 2017
US steps up bombing, uses stealth fighters in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON: Eager to win the war, the Trump administration has introduced a new weapon in Afghanistan, the F-22 stealth fighter, US military publications reported this week.
It was Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of US and NATO forces, who reported on Monday that the US Air Force had used F-22 fighter jets to target drug labs that generate revenue for the Taliban militants.
While the mainstream media focused on the campaign to destroy Taliban’s revenue sources, military publications — Defensetech, Navy Times and others — pointed out that F-22 were stealth fighters and this was the first time that the US had used this state of the art technology in Afghanistan.
The F-22s were joined by B-52 Stratofortresses and Afghan A-29 Super Tucanos to conduct an expanded strike mission — called the new offensive campaign, the reports added.
Later, Gen. Nicholson told a news briefing in Washington that the stealth fighters were because of their ability to deliver precision munitions that reduce civilian casualties.
In this week’s raids, the stealth fighters used a 250-pound, “small-diameter bomb that causes the minimal amount of collateral damage,” he said.
In a report on the new military campaign in Afghanistan, NBC News reported that the US Air Force was on track to triple the number of bombs dropped in Afghanistan this year compared with last year.
The US military dropped 3,554 weapons against the Taliban as of Oct 31 — already nearly three times the 1,337 dropped in 2016 and nearly four times as the 947 fired in 2015, the report added.
Gen Nicholson said the enhanced bombings were part of the new US strategy, which gives greater powers to US and NATO forces in Afghanistan.