With the defeat of ISIS in Iraq and Syria nearly complete, the U.S. Air Force is quickly turning its attention back to Afghanistan. As the number of close air support missions dwindles in Iraq and Syria, the need in Afghanistan remains constant and the Air Force is stepping up the air campaign.
In April 2017, American and allied jets dropped over 3,000 bombs on ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
But a year later, aircrafts dropped just 254 bombs, a sign of how much the war against ISIS has changed, according to a new strike report released over the weekend from the U.S. Air Force.
Throughout April, the U.S. military dropped the second-highest amount of bombs in Afghanistan in six-and-a-half years, the Air Force report said. The 562 bombs dropped in Afghanistan last month were more than the combined March and April totals in Iraq and Syria.
The Pentagon wouldn’t rule out Tehran’s influence.
“I don’t think you can ever rule out how much Iran interferes throughout this region. Iran remains the most destabilizing factor in the Middle East. So no, I don’t think you can ever rule out their mischief,” Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said at a press conference at the Pentagon Thursday.
White didn’t offer any specific details about the battle last week.
According to the latest numbers, the U.S. Air Force dropped two-times more bombs in Afghanistan than Iraq and Syria last month, as the Afghan spring offensive against the Taliban ramps up.
The U.S. Air Force said that Afghan jets recently helped destroy 29 Taliban narcotics labs as a way of cutting off a key revenue source for the Taliban.
While a year ago, U.S. Air Force jets fired or dropped 40,000 munitions against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria against about 4000 in Afghanistan, those numbers have changed.
U.S. commanders from the Central Command are no stating that Afghanistan is the “main effort” for American troops in the Middle East.
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