On September 20, the Taliban captured 3 checkpoints of the Afghan Army in Yaka Khana area in Almar district of Faryab province in northern Afghanistan, according to the Taliban news agency Voice of Jihad. 4 Afghan Army soldiers were killed and two others including an officer were injured during the attack.
Voice of Jihad also announced that Taliban fighters attacked a checkpoint of the Afghan Police in Shalgar district of Ghazni province in eastern Afghanistan. Voice of Jihad reported that 3 Afghan policemen were killed and 6 others were injured in the attack.
In a separated development, Lieutenant General of US Air Forces Central Command Jeffrey L. Harrigian announced on September 19 at the US Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference, that the US Air Force has increased the number of F-16 warplanes that are deployed in Afghanistan from 12 to 18, according to the American Military.com website.
“We just plussed up our number of fighters. We had 12 F-16s; we now have 18 … Our close-air support role continues and, as you look at the strategy coming forward, we’re actually right now working with [Commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan] Gen. John Nicholson’s staff on how to best synchronize his advice-and-assist strategy going forward to optimize the placement of the air assets,” said Lt. Gen. Harrigian at the conference.
The US Air Force also deployed air refueling tankers to Afghanistan for the first time in about five years. This new boost in US air power in Afghanistan is believed to be related to US president Donald Trump new policy towards Afghanistan.