US Steps Up Bombing Campaign In Afghanistan: Report

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Kabul: The United States has significantly stepped up its bombing campaign in Afghanistan to roll back the Daesh terrorists who have expanded their territory outside of Iraq and Syria, according to a report.

US drones and warplanes carried out about three times more strikes in January and February in Afghanistan– dropping a total of 251 bombs and missiles – than they did during the same period last year, the New York Times reported, citing Air Force data.

The widening campaign has been in response to a decision by US President Barack Obama to give military commanders more leeway to launch airstrikes against Daesh positions in several Afghan provinces.

It also comes a little more than a year after Obama declared an end to all combat missions in Afghanistan, sparking a debate in Washington whether the administration should respond to every emerging Daesh threat.

American and Afghan commanders say the strikes have dealt a blow to the terror organization, but they are more concerned about a resurgent Taliban that is stronger now than at any point since 2001.

Under the existing rules of engagement, US commanders can order airstrikes against the Taliban only when the militants pose a direct threat to US forces or Afghan troops.

The US military, however, has been given more latitude in targeting Daesh forces.

General John Campbell, who commanded American forces in Afghanistan until earlier this month, said that broader authority has enabled him to take more aggressive measures against Daesh.

Campbell has in recent weeks asked the White House to give him similar authority to strike the Taliban.

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