In a desperate attempt to stop the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan, US president Joe Biden has sent B-52 bombers and Spectre gunships to target the terror group. According to reports, a US B-52 bomber attacked Taliban positions in Afghanistan’s western Herat province, after the group gained ground near the area.
The Taliban forces were targeted by the bomber on the outskirts of Herat city on Friday. Following the attack, flights in and out of the city’s airport were halted. “Unfortunately, all flights to Herat have been cancelled due to the fighting and the information we have received suggest that a B-52 was used in the fighting yesterday (Friday) in Herat,” provincial lawmaker Habib Ur Rahman Pedram told Arab News.
No further details regarding causalities and other damage from the attack is not available now.
Boeing B-52 strategic bomber was introduced in the 1950s, and it remains the main bomber of the USA. It can carry 32,000 kg of weapons and has a combat range of up to 14,080 km without aerial refuelling. The bombers deployed in Afghanistan are being supported by the Lockheed AC-130 Spectre gunships, which is a heavily armed variant of the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft. Designed for long-endurance ground attack, it carries a range of ground attack weapons, which includes a 25mm Gatling gun, a 40mm Bofors cannon and a 105mm M102 cannon.
Ever since the US forces withdrew from Afghanistan on the orders of the Biden administration, the Taliban has been making rapid advances in the country. Supported by the Pakistani military, the group had captured many border posts and several provincial cities. In the last two days, the Taliban captured two provincial capital cities. Yesterday they captured Zaranj in Nimroz province “without a fight”, and today the Sheberghan city in Jawzjan fell. After govt forces retreated to the airport in Sheberghan, the Taliban took over key buildings such as the governor’s office, the police headquarters and the central prison in the city.
The Taliban forces are trying to capture Herat, Lashkar Gah and Kandahar. However, now they are being targeted by US aircraft from the air. Reportedly, the B-52s are flying into Afghanistan from an airbase in Qatar, and hitting targets around Kandahar, Herat, and Lashkar Gah in Helmand province. Apart from the bombers and the gunships, the US is also using Reaper drones to run at least 5 missions a day, according to The Times.
The move comes amid the threating situation in Afghanistan, with rapid gains made by the Taliban in the country. The group now controls almost half of the districts in the country, according to estimates by the Pentagon. The deployment of the B-52 bomber and the Spectre gunships by the US shows that the Afghan forces are still reliant on US for combating the Taliban.