KABUL: U.S. military planes hit Taliban positions on the outskirts of the fallen northern Afghan city of Kunduz on Tuesday, a NATO spokesman said, as Afghan national forces launched a counterattack to try to retake the city.
The attack at about 9 a.m. (0400 GMT) marked the first U.S. air strike to defend the city.
“U.S. forces conducted an air strike in Kunduz today to eliminate a threat to coalition and Afghan forces operating in the vicinity of Kunduz,” said Colonel Brian Tribus, a spokesman for the NATO-led coalition. He did not elaborate on how many coalition forces troops were in the area.
NATO officially ended its combat role in Afghanistan last year. A scaled-down coalition presence now mostly trains and advises Afghan forces, although U.S. drones still target militant leaders and a U.S. counter-terror force remains.