Official: US moving to expand strikes in Afghanistan

Posted at 5:05 PM, Jun 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-09 18:05:41-04

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A senior U.S. defense official says the administration is moving toward a decision to expand the military's authority to conduct airstrikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The official says a final decision has not been made. But there is a broad desire to give the military greater ability to help the Afghan forces. The official was not authorized to talk publicly about the discussions so spoke anonymously.

The discussions, which are in their final stages, come as the Afghans struggle with a resurgent Taliban, particularly in the south.

The U.S. has continued to conduct counterterrorism strikes against al-Qaida and Islamic State militants in Afghanistan. But strikes against the Taliban were largely halted at the end of 2014, when the U.S.-led coalition's combat role ended.