US Airstrikes Destroy Health Clinic, School, Kill Civilians in Helmand

Security forces say Taliban was hiding in area

The US is set to be out of Afghanistan by the end of the month, but a flurry of major Taliban gains has the Biden Administration ordering airstrikes and calling in B-52s, pointing to deeper involvement.

While most of the territory changing hands is in northern Afghanistan, the big US airstrikes were against Helmand’s capital of Lashkar Gah. There, the US attacked a health clinic and a school, killing at least 20 civilians, including women and children.

Security officials said that the US strikes hit areas where the Taliban were hidden. This left Shaheed Anwar Khan High School and the government run clinic totally destroyed. Locals described street-to-street fighting in neighborhoods, which was also endangering civilians.

Airstrikes have done substantial harm to Afghan civilians for decades, and the latest US strikes show that hasn’t changed. At the same time, there is no indication that these strikes are changing the situation on the ground, and the Afghan government seems fine being an apologist for the strikes, claiming that the Taliban were there.

So far, US intervention is centered on air support, but the Pentagon has promised that the US will support the Ghani government, and if losses continue, it may be that the administration may start trying to reverse the trend with ground troops as well.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.