U.S. conducts airstrikes in southern Afghanistan

Story highlights

  • Spokesman: The strikes targeted "individuals threatening coalition and Afghan forces"
  • There was no immediate word on casualties
  • The strikes take place in the same province where 2 NATO members were killed

(CNN)The U.S. military conducted airstrikes Thursday in southern Afghanistan against "individuals threatening coalition and Afghan forces," a military spokesman said.

The strikes took place in Musa Qala, according to Col. Brian Tribus, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. This community in Afghanistan's Helmand province has seen attacks before by militants such as the Taliban, though it wasn't immediately clear what the Americans' specific target was this time.
    There was no immediate word on casualties.
    The strikes come a day after men wearing the uniforms of Afghan security forces shot and killed two NATO service members at an Afghan security forces compound in Helmand province.
    NATO service members fired back, killing the attackers, the organization's Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan said in a statement.
    The American military's actions Thursday come despite the official end of its combat mission in Afghanistan, which coincided with the close of 2014.
    "Our personnel will continue to face risks, but this reflects the enduring commitment of the United States to the Afghan people and to a united, secure and sovereign Afghanistan that is never again used as a source of attacks against our nation," President Barack Obama said in a statement last December.
    Resolute Support -- which focuses on training and support of Afghan forces -- replaced NATO's formal combat mission around that time. As of the end of May, it consisted of more than 13,000 troops from 40 different nations. The United States is the largest single contributor, with more than 6,000 service members.
    The new set-up and approach, however, has not changed the threat faced by Westerners and their allies in Afghanistan.
    On Saturday, three American contractors with the NATO mission were among at least a dozen people killed in a suicide bombing of a convoy in Kabul. And earlier this month, an attack on a NATO coalition base in Kabul killed at least one American, a defense official told CNN.