Nicholson AfghanistanThe US forces in Afghanistan conduct airstrikes against the Taliban militants ‘almost daily’, the top US commander in Afghanistan General John Nicholson has said.

Gen. Nicholson who is also the commander of the NATO-led Resolute Support (RS) mission in Afghanistan has said the US forces have begun to carry out their mission several areas of the country.

Nicholson spoke to reporters accompanying U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who is on an unannounced visit to Afghanistan, according to Voice of America.

Carter said Tuesday the expanded authority that President Barack Obama granted to U.S. forces last month allows “much more efficient use and effective use” of both American and Afghan forces.

U.S. troops in Afghanistan can now attack Taliban fighters directly to gain a strategic advantage. Previously, American forces were only authorized to strike Taliban units if they were under attack or if their Afghan allies were facing imminent defeat.

Obama approved broader role for the US military to assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) to fight the Taliban-led insurgency earlier last month.

Meanwhile, Obama also decided to keep 8,400 troops in Afghanistan through January 2017.

“As president and commander-in-chief, I have made it clear that I will not allow Afghanistan to be used as safe haven for terrorists to attack our nation again,” Obama said earlier this month.

He added “I strongly believe that it is in our national interests, especially after all the blood and treasure we’ve invested in Afghanistan over the years, that we give our Afghan partners the very best opportunity to succeed.”


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