Taliban Faces Airstrikes in South Afghanistan, But Makes Gains in North

Strikes are meant to help ground troops contest Lashkar Gah

The Afghan military started a massive counter-attack in Lashkar Gah on Wednesday night, and Thursday saw an intense pick-up in US and Afghan airstrikes against Taliban targets in and around the city, trying to help in the new fight.

Taliban offensives are in more than just Helmand, however. While the focus of the airstrikes is on slowing the Taliban down from taking that province, they are looking to make further gains up north.

This has the Taliban pushing into Sar-e Pul, where they now control much of the provincial capital. They’re also slowly making gains in Jawzjan Province, where they’ve been fighting for months.

UN officials say they are deeply concerned by the situation in Lashkar Gah, but their comments and the US airstrikes suggest that they are focusing on that, and not absorbing the reality that the Taliban are making a lot more gain gains, even if they have to pick and choose areas.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.