United States, Afghanistan launch air strikes as Taliban attack western city

Last Updated: May 16 2018 18:59

United States and Afghan aircraft today bombed Taliban positions in the western city of Farah after the rebels launched a major attempt to capture the provincial capital.

“Heavy fighting continues inside the city and aircraft have just started bombarding Taliban positions,” she told AFP earlier Tuesday from inside Farah.

NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Kabul tweeted that the Afghan army, supported by US airpower including A-10 Thunderbolts, was “on the offensive” and the city “remains under govt. control”.

Interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said the Afghan air force was also taking part in the fighting. “(The Taliban) will fail,” he pledged.

“The situation is very bad,” Satar Hissaini, a tribal elder in Farah, told AFP.

“Heavy fighting is going on and Taliban are in the city but the police headquarters and NDS (the Afghan intelligence agency) have not fallen to them,” he said.

“NDS forces in their HQ are engaged in heavy clashes with the Taliban.” Another provincial council member, Dadullah Qani, confirmed Hissaini’s comments. Gunfire and explosions could be heard as he spoke to an AFP reporter by telephone.