Tensions mounts as US airstrikes Taliban; Says “will defend when required.”
On June 4-5, two airstrikes in Afghanistan once again led to the resurfacing of the volatile relationship between the Taliban and the United States. The airstrikes, launched by the US against the Taliban, are the first since Eid ceasefire between militants and Afghan forces came to a fruitless end more than a week ago.
The attacks come as the U.S. is working to pull its troops out of Afghanistan on Afghan forces’ checkpoints in Helmand.
The USA says that on Tuesday alone, the Taliban carried out more than 43 attacks.
US Army spokesman, Sonny Leggett tweeted on Friday that “we call on the Taliban to stop needless attacks and uphold their commitments. As we have demonstrated, we will defend our partners when required.”
The airstrikes were targeted in western and southern Afghanistan. It was also reported by the Afghan Interior Ministry that the Taliban set off a roadside bomb which led to the killing of at least 10 Afghan policemen.
Interior Ministry’s Tariq Arian, as reported by The Washington Post, said the explosion destroyed several police vehicles. Another shootout left to the death of 4 Taliban fighters, he added. Safiullah Amiri, a provincial council member said that “Taliban fighters attacked at least three army outposts in Imam Sahib district of Kunduz last night, killing at least 10 soldiers and four police.”
As of the latest, the Taliban hasn’t claimed any responsibility or issued a statement on airstrikes or the said attacks.
Earlier on Wednesday as well, Leggett said that “Afghans & US have complied with our agreements, however, Talibs appear intent on squandering this (opportunity) and ignoring the will of the people for peace.”
In February, a historical peace deal was signed between the United States and Taliban which heightened everyone’s expectations as well as has been criticized frequently. The Taliban and Ashraf Ghani government haven’t been able to see eye to eye on crucial matters including the prisoner swap proposed by the Taliban which the Afghanistan government hasn’t yet fully accepted.
Given the repeated violence and attacks by the Taliban, the stubborn Afghanistan government, and the arrogance of the United States, it is apparent that there are numerous challenges ahead and although there is hope, scepticism runs deeper.