×
E-PAPER ▾

E-paper

World

Afghan conflict to intensify in 2018 ‘game changer’

| | Kabul

Fighting in Afghanistan has escalated with US and Afghan officials tipping 2018 to be a “game- changer” as relentless airstrikes pummel Islamist militant groups — but others warn the 16-year war has simply become a more violent stalemate. A traditional easing in fighting during the freezing winter months has been absent this year as the Taliban and Islamic State group respond to intensifying US and Afghan air assaults.

Since US President Donald Trump announced his new strategy for Afghanistan in August, giving the US Air Force more leeway to go after militants, American pilots have been bombarding Taliban and IS fighters, their training camps and drug-making laboratories.

“The gloves are off,” Brigadier General Lance Bunch, who directs future air operations in Afghanistan, told reporters recently.

The new policy has “definitely been a game-changer and the Taliban is definitely feeling it”, he added. The US is deploying more troops and aircraft to Afghanistan, which has become the main theatre of operations for the US Air Force following a drawdown in Syria and Iraq. At the same time it is beefing up Afghanistan’s fledgling air capabilities.

US aircraft dropped 4,361 munitions across the country in 2017 — including more than 2,300 since August, which exceeded the combined total for 2015 and 2016.

With the help of huge B-52 bombers, the US has expanded its campaign to far northeastern Afghanistan near the China and Tajikistan borders. 

 
 
 
 
 

TOP STORIES

Sunday Edition

View All

Court proceedings end in a lighter vein

20 May 2018 | PNS

New Delhi: “Now, let us enjoy our holidays,” this is how the Supreme Court concluded the hearing on the Karnataka power row on Saturday. The courtroom burst into a bout of laughter as Justice AK Sikri, who headed the three-judge Bench, made the jovial remark ...

Read More

STATE EDITIONS

View All

Street vendors reluctant to committee polls

21 May 2018 | PNS | Ranchi

With State’s biggest Urban Local Body (ULB) gearing up to conduct vendors’ committee election in June second week for formation of first Town Vending Committee, the members of Ranchi Footpath Hawkers Association covering quite a number of street vendors appear reluctant to take part in the upcoming election. Notably, as per the rule, allocation of shops to street vendors at the vendors market is done on the recommendation of the...

Read More

Page generated in 0.2453 seconds.