Flashpoints

Airstrikes called in as Taliban attempt to breach Bagram Air Base

A series of airstrikes were called in following a failed attempt by the Taliban to breach Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, on Wednesday, according to a Resolute Support spokesman.

U.S. and Afghan forces were pulled into a nine-to 10-hour firefight after a suicide bombing targeted a medical facility that was under construction near the base, a source on the ground told Military Times.

Taliban fighters then barricaded themselves inside the medical facility they attacked and were hit with a series of airstrikes Wednesday evening, according to a Resolute Support spokesman.

The medical facility was located outside Bagram and was under renovation at the time to provide care for local Afghans.

The suicide bombing and attack, claimed by the Taliban, killed at least two Afghan civilians and wounded nearly 70 others, according to the Afghanistan Ministry of Interior.

Newsweek first reported that U.S. forces were engaged in a firefight with Taliban fighters near Bagram.

“Coalition forces, in coordination with Afghan Security Forces, informed local residents and blocked off the area before conducting these airstrikes to ensure their safety,” a Resolute Support spokesman told Military Times in an emailed statement.

Some coalition members were treated for minor injuries and later released, the spokesman said. Georgia said five of its service members with the Quick Reaction Forces of the Georgian contingent were wounded in Wednesday’s attack on Bagram, according to a news release.

“Despite of minor injuries, Georgian peacekeepers continue their duty alongside with the coalition forces in Afghanistan,” the release said.

The attack on Bagram comes as the U.S. just restarted peace negotiations with the Taliban. President Donald Trump ended the talks with the Taliban in September following an attack by the Taliban that killed a U.S. service member.

The Associated Press reported that Trump’s envoy leading peace negotiations with the Taliban, Zalmay Khalilzad, kicked off the first round of talks with the Taliban on Saturday since Trump paused the negotiations in September.

Trump visited Bagram Air Base on Thanksgiving and detailed that the U.S. forces in Afghanistan had killed a large number of ISIS fighters in the country.

There are currently 13,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

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