U.S. AD­VIS­ERS AID IN BAT­TLE FOR CITY

Ottawa Citizen - - WORLD -

The United States has sent mil­i­tary ad­vis­ers to aid Afghan forces in Ghazni, where they were strug­gling on Sun­day to re­gain full con­trol three days af­ter the Tal­iban launched a mas­sive as­sault on the eastern city.

The as­sault was a ma­jor show of force by the Tal­iban, who had in­fil­trated deep into the city and at­tacked from sev­eral di­rec­tions. In re­cent years the in­sur­gents have seized sev­eral dis­tricts across the coun­try and staged near-daily at­tacks on Afghan se­cu­rity forces, but have been un­able to cap­ture and hold ur­ban ar­eas.

The U.S.-led NATO mis­sion has car­ried out airstrikes in sup­port of Afghan forces. Lt. Col. Martin O’Don­nell, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said Afghan forces were en­gaged in a “cleanup op­er­a­tion,” while ac­knowl­edg­ing for the first time that “some U.S. ad­vis­ers were on the ground.”

The U.S. and NATO for­mally con­cluded their com­bat mis­sion at the end of 2014, but have re­peat­edly come to the aid of Afghan forces.

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