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News > Afghanistan

US Dropped Record Number of Bombs on Afghanistan in 2019

  • This file photo shows a US MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle in flight over Afghanistan.

    This file photo shows a US MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle in flight over Afghanistan. | Photo: Reuters

Published 28 January 2020
Opinion

As of Dec. 31, 2019, both manned and unmanned aircraft expended 7,423 munitions.

The United States dropped more bombs and other munitions over Afghanistan in 2019 than any other year since documentation began in 2006, according to U.S. Air Forces Central Command data released Monday.

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As of Dec. 31, 2019, both manned and unmanned aircraft expended 7,423 munitions, a slight increase on the 7,362 weapons released in 2018. 

The figures include bomb and missile strikes, 105 mm shells fired by AC-130 gunships and shelling fire from 20 mm cannons and up.

In a parallel result, a United Nations tally found last year was the deadliest on record, with at least 3,804 civilian deaths caused by the war -- including 927 children with more than half of those figures caused by U.S. forces and its coalition. 

And 2020 began with the same trend, Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission alerted in mid-January that a U.S. drone strike in western Afghanistan killed 15 civilians, including three women and three children.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has resumed talks with the Taliban in Doha, three months after President Donald Trump abruptly halted negotiations with the insurgents. 

Talks between the Taliban and the U.S. aimed at ending the war collapsed on Sept. 7 as Trump decided to unilaterally cancel talks with Afghanistan’s Taliban leaders after the group claimed the attack in Kabul that killed a U.S. soldier and 11 civilians, despite already having already reached a draft peace deal.

Yet the talks have not seen a reduction of violence in Afghanistan with the Taliban staging attacks across the country virtually every day.

With the war not showing signs of reaching a near end, Afghanistan continues to be Washington’s longest conflict in its history. It was started after the Sept. 11 attacks in New York City when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan as part of the so-called "war on terror" to dismantle Al-Qaeda by removing the Taliban from power. 

Almost US$975 billion has been spent and approximately 220,000 people have died.

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