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US B-52 bomber sets bombing record in airstrikes against Taliban

A B-52H Stratofortress. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Lance Cheung)
February 06, 2018

A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress set a record for the most guided munitions ever dropped from a B-52 during a series of precision strikes against the Taliban in northern Afghanistan.

“Over the past 96 hours, U.S. forces conducted air operations to strike Taliban training facilities in Badakhshan province, preventing the planning and rehearsal of terrorist acts near the border with China and Tajikistan,” according to a CENTCOM release. “The strikes also destroyed stolen Afghan National Army vehicles that were in the process of being converted to vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices.”

A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress dropped 24 precision-guided munitions on Taliban fighting positions, according to the release.

“The Taliban have nowhere to hide,” said Gen. John Nicholson, Commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. “There will be no safe haven for any terrorist group bent on bringing harm and destruction to this country.”

The Afghan Air Force and Afghan Special Security Forces, as well as U.S. precision strikes, have precluded the Taliban from capturing Kunduz City and other lost territory. The Taliban did not capture any provincial capitals in 2017, the release says.

“The Taliban cannot win on the battlefield, therefore they inflict harm and suffering on innocent civilians,” Nicholson added. “All they can do is kill innocent people and destroy what other people have built.”

A number of U.S. airstrikes have hampered Taliban support networks and cut off their access to revenue sources. Since November, more than $30 million in revenue has been cut off from the Taliban.

The B-52s carry out operations from Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.

The aistrikes are carried out “in a direct effort to destroy insurgent revenue sources, training facilities and support networks,” according to the release.