US Supports Afghan Raid on Taliban Prison

The US provided surveillance and intelligence support for an Afghan forces raid on a Taliban prison in Helmand Province that freed 60 prisoners, US Central Command said Friday. The Dec. 3 raid was conducted by Afghan forces, though US aircraft provided over watch, CENTCOM spokesman Air Force Col. Patrick Ryder told reporters. The freed prisoners included Afghan police and Afghan soldiers. No US forces were on the ground during the raid, Ryder said, and no information was available on how the prisoners were captured. “This was an independent Afghan operation,” Ryder said, clarifying initial reports that the raid was led by US special operations. The operation shows Afghan forces are increasing their ability to conduct operations, even though a capability gap remains in air strength.