WASHINGTON, June 27 (Sputnik) – The Afghan Air Force has launched 38 self-defense airstrikes against the Taliban since a ceasefire took place on June 11, Resolute Support mission Brig. Gen. Lance Bunch said in a press briefing from Afghanistan on Wednesday.
“There have been 38 instances where the Afghan Air Force has been airborne and conducted self-defense strikes in support of their ANA [Afghan National Army] forces on the ground, so 38 instances where the Taliban didn’t honor the ceasefire and took offensive action,” Bunch told reporters.
The US-led coalition did not conduct strikes against the Taliban during the ceasefire, but it did continue striking the Islamic State (banned in Russia) terror group, which is not part of the ceasefire, Bunch said.
The brigadier general noted that ceasefire continues to remain in place.
Moreover, Bunch said that looking forward the Afghan Air Force will acquire AC-208 gunships later this year. The aircraft will provide precision strike and intelligence capabilities they have not yet had, Bunch explained.
On June 7, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani declared a unilateral ceasefire with the Taliban from June 11-19 to mark the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr.
The Afghan president on June 17 prolonged the ceasefire by ten days. Taliban observed the three-day truce, but rejected the government’s request to prolong the ceasefire.