WASHINGTON, Feb 07 – US Air Force B-52 bomber launched a record-setting series of strikes this week in Afghanistan, dropping 24 precision-guided munitions on Taliban positions during 96 hours of air operations, authorities said.
The 24 precision-guided munitions dropped by the B-52 Stratofortress were the most ever dropped by one of the Air Force’s oldest active aircraft “to destroy insurgent revenue sources, training facilities, and support networks”, the US Forces Afghanistan said in a statement on Tuesday.
Weighing 185,000 pounds, the B-52 first entered service in the 1950s during the height of the Cold War — originally designed to serve as long-range, high-altitude intercontinental nuclear bombers that could strike deep into the Soviet Union.
The newest B-52 entered service in 1962, and the 159-foot plane became a Cold War icon and each aircraft can carry up to 70,000 pounds of bombs, mines and missiles.
The strikes come after the Taliban launched a series of attacks in Kabul last week, killing over 100 people, CNN reported.
In one of those incidents, an ambulance packed with explosives detonated in a crowded street outside a hospital. More than 200 people were injured, including 30 police officers.
In addition to Taliban fighting positions, the strikes targeted training facilities in Badakhshan province and “stolen Afghan National Army vehicles that were in the process of being converted to vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices”, according to US Forces Afghanistan.
“The Taliban have nowhere to hide,” said Gen. John Nicholson, commander of US Forces Afghanistan.
“There will be no safe haven for any terrorist group bent on bringing harm and destruction to this country.”
US forces continue to carry out strikes on Taliban support networks in Helmand province and target sources of revenue such as illegal narcotics, the service said, adding that strikes and raids in the region have destroyed more than $30 million of Taliban revenue since the campaign began in November 2017. – NDTV