U-S Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the United States is targeting Taleban air defenses in Afghanistan to create conditions for sustained anti-terrorist operations and a humanitarian relief effort.
Mr. Rumsfeld says the immediate objective of the raids is to minimize threats to U-S forces posed by Taleban air defenses and aircraft.
He says the raids target command facilities that support terrorist elements in Afghanistan as well as critical terrorist sites.
Mr. Rumsfeld says the raids are continuing and the initial phase is not yet over. He says there is no information that aircraft involved in the raids were damaged or brought down.
Speaking Sunday, he listed several other goals of the U-S-led military campaign. He says the effort also focuses on gathering intelligence and making it increasingly difficult for terrorists to operate from Afghanistan.
Mr. Rumsfeld says the military operation is also aimed at developing relationships with groups within Afghanistan opposed to the Taleban. He says the United States will support the Afghan opposition in its fight against the Taleban, but he did not indicate if the support would be military.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, said the United States and Britain launched 50 cruise missiles in the first volley of attacks Sunday.
He says 15 bombers and 25 strike aircraft launched the missiles. He says the war planes are both land and sea-based.