US Airstrike Total in Afghanistan Hits New Record in 2019

US strike aircraft dropped more bombs in Afghanistan in 2019 than any other year since at least the surge in 2009.

US strike aircraft flew 2,434 strike sorties, releasing 7,423 weapons in 2019, according to statistics released Jan. 27 by Air Forces Central Command. These totals are higher than any other annual tally released by AFCENT, whose online archives date back to 2009. The previous high was 7,362 weapons released in 2018.

Graphic: Air Forces Central Command

In 2019, US intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft flew 17,723 sorties, a sharp increase from 2018’s total of 12,716. Mobility aircraft saw a decrease in 2019, with both tanker sorties and airlift sorties down from previous years.

In Iraq and Syria, airstrikes continued to slow. In 2019, US and coalition aircraft released 4,729 weapons, down from 2018’s total of 8,713. ISR sorties, however, nearly doubled with 13,377 sorties in 2019, compared to the previous year’s total of 7,782.