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RSM vows to eliminate Taliban, their financial resources

RSM vows to eliminate Taliban, their financial resources

Feb 08, 2018 - 19:25

KABUL (Pajhwok): The Resolute Support Mission (RSM) on Thursday announced intensifying attacks on militant groups, saying the Taliban would be eliminated along with their financial sources.

Lance R. Bunch, a brigadier general of the RSM, told reporters in Kabul that the mission forces had inflicted heavy casualties on militants in Helmand and Badakhshan provinces during air strikes over the last 10 days.

“Based on our new strategy, we want to increase our airstrikes and destroy financial sources of militant groups jointly with Afghan forces through land and aerial operations,” he said.

He said currently B52 and A10 model aircrafts were used in Afghanistan, which he said called as “very advanced and accurate in hitting a target.”

Bunch said militants fulfilled their 60 percent financial needs from growing, producing and smuggling narcotics and so far 36 narcotics processing factories had been destroyed.

“Militants have around 500 narcotics laboratories and the laboratories destroyed in air strikes cost the militants nearly $33 million,” he added.

In response to a question about civilian casualties in Afghan and foreign forces attacks, he said, “Civilian casualties have decreased in air strikes compared to the past and the reason is the strengthened power of Afghan forces who lead both the ground and aerial attacks, they very accurately target the enemy, but sometimes both civilians and Afghan forces suffer casualties due to wrong intelligence information.”

But in return, civilians mostly suffered casualties in Taliban attacks particularly in suicide bombings, he said.

Bunch said Afghan and foreign forces in Afghanistan had developed their military plans in consideration of security threats.

The remarks from a RSM general come a day after seven members of a single family were killed in an air strike in Alishir district of southeastern Khost province.