ANI, October 22, 2010
NATO forces put civilians in danger while pounding Taliban strongholds in Afghanistan
The military is often using heavy artillery and ordering more air strikes. That makes civilian casualties inevitable
Civilians in southern Afghanistan are in greater danger now more than ever, with American-led forces mercilessly pounding Taliban strongholds in the region, especially in Kandahar province.
The number of U.S. and NATO air strikes over Afghanistan has spiked since General David Petraeus replaced General Stanley McCrystal as commander of the war effort in June. U.S. Air Force statistics show a 172 percent increase, with 700 separate missions flown in September. A total of 257 assault missions were flown in September, 2009. Surveillance flights increased to nearly three times the number from September 2009 and supply flights are up as well.
ABC News Radio, Oct. 13, 2010
The CBS News quoted American commanders as saying that the insurgents are now fleeing in droves, thanks to the increased use of heavy artillery and air assaults.
U.S. commanders have emphasized the need to protect civilians at all costs, but the overwhelming and sometimes indiscriminate use of firepower, has claimed some civilian lives.
Lt. Stephen Draheim, Bravo troop platoon leader, 1-75 Cav, 101st Airborne division, said: "In this conflict, in this fighting, people continue to die when we are just trying to make the Taliban go away."
The military is often using heavy artillery and ordering more air strikes. That makes civilian casualties inevitable.
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