Associated Press reported on June 7 that in May, the US Air Force carried out 750 air strikes against the Taliban and other insurgent groups in Afghanistan. This information was supplied to AP by General Gary North, the commander of US air operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. US warplanes logged nearly 2000 strikes in Afghanistan between March and May, about as many as the same period in 2005, US Air Force Major Michael Young told AP. But air strikes spiked at 750 this May, as opposed to 660 in May 2005, Young said. AP reported: "Insurgents have mounted a spring offensive against the deployment of US-led troops in the southern Afghan provinces of Helmand and Kandahar, drawing intense bombardments from American warplanes ... The increased US bombing has sparked opposition from Afghans angered at the rising death toll of civilians, which Afghan lawmakers blame for a surge in Taliban support." On May 21, for example, the US bombing of Azizi village in Kandahar province killed at least 16 civilians. North told AP the civilian deaths were "regrettable" and said they were being investigated.
From Green Left Weekly, June 14, 2006.
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