Since United States President Donald Trump took the office, the US forces in Afghanistan have hit a record number of bombs in 2019, more than at any other time in the last 10 years. According to a report released by the US Air Forces Central Command on January 27, US has dropped 7,423 bombs on targets in Afghanistan in 2019 after releasing 7,362 munitions in 2018. These figures have showcased a dramatic increase in the number of US-directed bomb blasts in Afghanistan in recent years when compared to 2009 when 4,147 bombs were dropped by former US President Barack Obama's administration.
According to the data released by the United Nations, the US has accounted for nearly half of the total civilian deaths due to pro-government forces in Afghanistan only in the first three quarters of 2019. However, the insurgent groups and Taliban were also responsible for over a thousand civilian deaths. In synergy with the increase in the number of US air raids in the war-rocked country, the Taliban has also reportedly ramped-up its attacks over last summer.
Furthermore, an Afghan news agency reported that according to a United Nations Assistance Mission report, in just the first nine months of 2019, the organization has documented 2,563 civilians death along with 5,676 wounded people which is fairly similar to the count of 2018.
However, in the third quarter of this year, there was an unusual spike in civilian casualties with 1,174 deaths and injury of 3,139 which, according to the UNAMA, is the highest number of deaths since it started documentation in 2009. There was a 42 per cent increase from that of the previous year.
The surge in casualties and airstrikes came at the same time as the US and Taliban were conducting sustained peace talks. However, in September 2019 Washington had abruptly called-off the talks after a suicide attack in Kabul killed an American soldier. It was only until November when Trump made his first visit to Afghanistan did he declare that talks with the Taliban have been reopened.
While the Taliban reportedly is pushing for an agreement that would remove the US troops from Afghanistan, the US demands ceasefire from the rebel group before any agreement could be finished. However, multiple sources of international media suggest that the Taliban had agreed to scale down the attacks against American forces and Afghan government forces.