Afghan and US forces have conducted air strikes against insurgent positions around the capital of Afghanistan's western Farah Province to help ground troops repel an attack launched on the city by the Taliban militant group on 15 May.
“The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces [ANDSF], supported by US Forces-Afghanistan [USFOR-A] airpower, are on the offensive against the Taliban,” said the NATO-led ‘Resolute Support’ mission in a statement issued that same day.
US Army Lieutenant Colonel Martin L O’Donnell told Jane’s that Afghan Air Force A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft and Mil Mi-17 ‘Hip’ assault/utility helicopters launched multiple strikes near Farah City.
Around the same time the US Air Force (USAF) despatched A-10 ground-attack aircraft and MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles, with the latter conducting multiple day- and night-time strikes, said the lieutenant colonel, who emphasised that the Afghan security forces brought in “their full capabilities” – consisting of army, police, commando and air force personnel, and equipment – to bear on the situation.
The attack – the first major one conducted by the Taliban against a provincial capital since the group announced the launch of its annual spring offensive in late April – began in the early morning hours, with the militants overrunning several security checkpoints, torching vehicles, and engaging in intense gun battles with the security forces.
The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), however, managed to push back the insurgents, with the Afghan National Army’s (ANA’s) 207th Corps commander leading operations on the ground as of 16 May to keep Farah City under government control.
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