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U.S offers air support to Afghan forces amid attacks

The United States will to continue to carry out airstrikes to support Afghan forces facing attack from the insurgent Taliban, a regional U.S. commander said on Sunday

as the U.S. and other international forces have drawn down troops in Afghanistan.

The Taliban escalated its offensive in recent weeks, taking rural districts and surrounding provincial capitals, after U.S. President Joe Biden said in April U.S. troops would be

withdrawn by September, ending a 20-year foreign military presence.

"The United States has increased airstrikes in support of Afghan forces over the last several days and we're prepared to continue this heightened level of support in the coming weeks

if the Taliban continue their attacks," U.S. Marine General Kenneth McKenzie told a news conference in Kabul.

McKenzie, who leads U.S. Central Command, which controls U.S. forces for a region that includes Afghanistan, declined to say whether U.S. forces would continue airstrikes after the

end of their military mission on August 31.

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