U.S. military forces conducted major strikes against Afghan Taliban positions killing up to 70 high-ranking terrorist leaders in just a month.
According to a statement from the Pentagon, the precision bombing raids and drone strikes were carried out for 10 consecutive days beginning May 17.
A major part of the coordinated offensive took place May 24, it included the use of one of the Army’s newest artillery rocket systems, the M-142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS.
“These strikes represent one of the largest blows to Taliban leadership in the last year,” said Army Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and head of the operation known as Resolute Support. “The cumulative effects of which will be felt nationwide for quite some time.” He added.
According to the Pentagon, the precision strike on May 24 was carried out in the Taliban stronghold of Helmand province against a known command center in Musa Qala during a meeting of high-level Taliban commanders.
The raid felled more than 50 Taliban casualties, including the deputy “shadow” governor of Helmand, multiple regional governors, intelligence commanders and key provincial leaders who had traveled from Kandahar, Kunduz, Herat, Farah and Uruzgan provinces.
Separately, another precision airstrike was carried out by Air Force A-10s May 24 hit a Taliban “Red Unit” commander in Helmand. The commander was in a vehicle traveling in Sangin province. A-10 jets also bombed a Taliban headquarters in Nahr-e-Saraj a day later.
On Saturday, an MQ-1C Gray Eagle drone struck a senior Taliban bomb-maker in charge of coordinating improvised explosive device attacks against Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.