The Taliban has accused the usmilitary of repeatedly violating the peace deal signed between the 2 sides in Doha in February, and warned that Washington, D.C., should shoulder the blame for subsequent violence.
Taliban spokesperson Qari Muhammad Yousuf Ahmadi issued an announcement Sunday condemning latest American airstrikes on militants in Afghanistan’s Helmand province and threatening retaliation.
Violence in Afghanistan has continued regardless of the February peace deal between the U.S. and the Taliban. Talks are ongoing between the Afghan authorities and the Taliban, although President Donald Trump has nonetheless pushed forward with a deliberate withdrawal from the nation.
The U.S. carried out a number of airstrikes in opposition to Taliban targets in Helmand final week in help of Afghan authorities forces. Colonel Sonny Leggett, the spokesperson for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, stated the missions have been to defend under-attack Afghan troops and didn’t violate the Doha settlement.
But Ahmadi stated Sunday the motion was unacceptable. “American forces have violated the Doha agreement in various forms by carrying out excessive airstrikes following the new developments in Helmand province,” he stated in the Taliban assertion.
“According to the Doha agreement, the American forces are prohibited from carrying out airstrikes or targeting anyone in areas other than combat zones or during active fighting,” he added, noting U.S. strikes in a number of places.
“All contents of the U.S.-Islamic Emirate agreement are unambiguous, but the opposite side has violated its commitments on numerous occasions, are engaging in provocative actions and bombing non-combat zones,” Ahmadi added, utilizing the previous title of the nation when it was underneath Taliban rule—the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
“All responsibility and consequences from continuation of such actions shall fall squarely on the shoulders of the American side,” Ahmadi stated.
Leggett later responded to the assertion on Twitter. “We categorically reject the Taliban’s claim the United States has violated the U.S.-Taliban Agreement,” he wrote. “U.S. airstrikes in Helmand and Farah have been and continue to be solely in defense of the ANDSF as they are being attacked by the Taliban.”
“The entire world has witnessed the Taliban’s offensive operations in Helmand– attacks which injured and displaced thousands of innocent Afghan civilians. We reiterate our call for ALL SIDES to reduce the violence to allow the political process to take hold.”
General Scott Miller—commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan—in the meantime urged the Taliban to cease offensive operations in opposition to authorities troops. Despite the February peace deal and ongoing inter-Afghan talks, the Taliban have launched a number of operations across the nation in latest months.
“The Taliban need to immediately stop their offensive actions in Helmand Province and reduce their violence around the country,” Miller stated in an announcement tweeted out by Leggett. “It is not consistent with the US-Taliban agreement and undermines the ongoing Afghan Peace Talks.”
Despite the violence, Trump prompted confusion when he tweeted final week: “We should have the small remaining number of our BRAVE Men and Women serving in Afghanistan home by Christmas.”
National safety adviser Robert O’Brien later stated Trump’s message was a want moderately than a dedication. “I think what the president was doing is, he was expressing the same desire I think every president since the Revolutionary War has said,” O’Brien stated.
“Whenever we’re at war, whether it was the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War I or World War II, all presidents… want the troops home by Christmas.” O’Brien stated the U.S. would purpose to chop its Afghan deployment to 2,500 by early in 2021.
This was at odds with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, who stated just lately that the Pentagon will reduce its Afghan footprint to 4,500 troops in November, however that any discuss of additional cuts can be “speculation.”
This article has been up to date to incorporate additional remark from Colonel Sonny Leggett.