US signals no change in airstrikes as Afghan Taliban advance

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The U.S. is showing no sign of stepping up airstrikes in Afghanistan despite accelerating Taliban gains there. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Monday that Americans view the conflict as up to Afghan political and military leaders to win or lose. He acknowledged that the fight on the ground is “clearly not going in the right direction.” The comments distancing the U.S. further from the conflict came as Taliban militants captured two more provincial capitals Monday in a push across much of Afghanistan, after taking large swaths of land in the countryside. The U.S. says it will continue airstrikes as feasible until the Biden administration’s final withdrawal date three weeks from now.

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