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Video Shows US Drones Blasting Attacking Taliban Fighters
As the Taliban surges in its spring offensive, it is facing relentless strikes by hovering MQ-9 Reaper drones.
This newly released video shows the encircling drones killing about 28 Taliban fighters near Farah city in the western part of the country, where the Taliban is mounting their offensive.
The U.S. military command initially claimed that U.S. A-10s hammered the Taliban near Farah on May 15 but a spokesman later clarified that the A-10s had flown “show of presence” missions instead of conducting airstrikes.
U.S. drones conducted several strikes and the Afghan air force used both their A-29 Super Tucano propeller-driven aircraft and Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters to attack the Taliban, said Army Lt. Col. Martin O’Donnell, a spokesman for Operation Resolute Support.
“Fighting was subdued overnight,” O’Donnell said in an email on Wednesday. “It will likely pick up today. We conducted a number of additional drone strikes throughout the night and continue to enable the ANDSF [Afghan National Defense and Security Forces], who remain squarely in the lead. The 207th Corps commander is leading operations on the ground and the city remains in government control.”
Both the shooting and propaganda wars have escalated since the Taliban announced the start of their annual spring offensive in April. The U.S. military disputed the Taliban’s claim that it captured Farah despite videos posted on social media on May 15 that appeared to show Taliban fighters moving freely within the city.
A Taliban spokesman tweeted on Wednesday that Taliban fighters had pulled out of Farah city “with large amount spoils.” In a separate operation, Taliban fighters have taken over Jaghatu district in southeastern Afghanistan, the spokesman claimed.
In the waning days of the Obama administration, the U.S. military sharply curtailed air support for Afghan troops and police to wean them off U.S. airpower. But since President Donald Trump took office, U.S. airpower has gone on offense against the Taliban. In late 2017, U.S. fighters and bombers began attacking Taliban narcotics facilities to choke off the group’s revenue.
But so far, the combination of U.S. aircraft supporting Afghan security forces has not led to a substantial reversal of the Taliban’s gains.
A massive billing glitch in Tricare's East region, managed by Humana, on Thursday slammed about 25,000 beneficiaries with premium charges 100 times more than they owe monthly for their coverage.
A Minnesota Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with three Guardsmen aboard crashed south of St. Cloud on Thursday, said National Guard spokeswoman Army Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens.
At this time, the National Guard is not releasing any information about the status of the three people aboard the helicopter, Heusdens told Task & Purpose on Thursday.
A missing Canadian ex-soldier was reportedly smuggled across the US border and is hiding with a neo-Nazi group
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Former Canadian Army Reserve Master Cpl. Patrik Mathews, 26, was first identified as a member of The Base by Winnipeg Free Press reporter Ryan Thorpe.
Days after Thorpe's report was published, Mathews went missing and was discharged from the military for his alleged ties to the group. His car was found about 10 miles from the U.S. border soon thereafter, and police found a cache of weapons when they raided his home.
Vice reporters Ben Makuch, Mack Lamoureux, and Zachary Kamel, citing confidential sources, reported on Thursday that Mathews had been illegally smuggled across the border and is being hidden by members of The Base, which has operated in encrypted chatrooms as a largely online organization.
The Pentagon's latest attempt to twist itself in knots to deny that it is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East has a big caveat.
Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said there are no plans to send that many troops to the region "at this time."
Farah's statement does not rule out the possibility that the Defense Department could initially announce a smaller deployment to the region and subsequently announce that more troops are headed downrange.
The Navy could deploy a second carrier to the Middle East if Trump orders an Iran surge, top admiral says
The Navy could send a second aircraft carrier to the Middle East if President Donald Trump orders a surge of forces to the region, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said on Thursday.
Gordon Lubold and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal first reported the United States is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to deter Iran from attacking U.S. forces and regional allies. The surge forces could include several ships.