US to continue to support Afghan forces

Washington, Aug 10 (IANS): As the security situation is deteriorating in Afghanistan amid intense fighting between the Taliban and government forces, the Pentagon has said that the US military will continue to support troops in the war-torn country.

Addressing a briefing here on Monday, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said that the security situation in Afghanistan "is clearly not going in the right direction".

"We will continue to support them with the authorities we have, where and when feasible, understanding that it's not always going to be feasible," he said.

"But where and when feasible, we will continue to support them with airstrikes, for instance."

He noted that the Afghan forces have the capability and advantages in combat with the Taliban, stressing the need for Kabul to exert both political and military leadership.

Kirby declined to speculate if the US military will continue to provide air support for Afghan forces beyond August 31, the date that President Joe Biden had ordered the American military to end its mission in Afghanistan.

The US military conducted airstrikes against Taliban militants in recent days as the militant group has made rapid advances and claimed to have captured six provincial capitals after heavy clashes.

Many Afghan cities and about half of the country's 34 provinces have seen heavy battles and street fighting in recent weeks as Taliban militants continued fighting against security forces.

Given the deteriorating security situation, the US Embassy in Kabul on on August 7 urged all Americans to leave the country immediately via available commercial flights.



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