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Afghan civilians count cost of renewed US air campaign | The Guardian |

When thousands of additional US soldiers are deployed to Afghanistan as part of Donald Trump's expansion of America's longest war, many of them will experience the conflict at a distance from fighters jets and helicopters.

The US has stepped up its use of airstrikes in Afghanistan and is pouring vast resources into strengthening Afghan airpower. But while airstrikes may be effective in killing insurgents, increasing their use also leads to more civilian deaths.

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A U.S. Army UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter flies over the Nangarhar Province (Photo: Wikipedia)

Last week at least 26 civilians were killed in two separate airstrikes. Near Herat, Afghan warplanes killed at least 13 civilians. A day later, what appears to have been a US airstrike killed at least 11 civilians in Logar, east of the capital, Kabul.

Even before then, 2017 had been shaping up to be the deadliest year on record for Afghan civilians since the 2001 US-led invasion. The rate of casualties from airstrikes is on par with 2011, during the Obama troop surge. In the first six months of 2017, airstrikes killed 95 civilians and injured 137.

by Oui on Mon May 7th, 2018 at 10:02:57 PM EST

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