Friday, 26 February, 2021

Afghan conflict: US conducts first air strike on Taliban since deal

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Taliban fighters ended up celebrating the US offer previously this 7 days

The US armed service has performed an air strike against Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, just hours just after President Donald Trump stated he experienced a “incredibly very good converse” with a leader of the team.

The US signed a offer with the Taliban on Saturday aimed at bringing peace to Afghanistan right after many years of war.

But a US forces spokesman mentioned it launched an air strike on Wednesday in reaction to Taliban fighters attacking Afghan forces in Helmand province.

The Taliban has not commented.

It was not straight away distinct if there ended up any casualties.

What did the US say?

Wednesday’s strike was the to start with by the US versus the Taliban in 11 times, when a reduction in violence agreement commenced involving the two sides in the lead-up to Saturday’s pact.

In a assertion on Twitter, Colonel Sonny Leggett, a spokesman for the US Forces in Afghanistan, reported it was a “defensive strike” to disrupt an attack on an Afghan Countrywide Stability Forces checkpoint.

The spokesman added that the US was even now “fully commited to peace” but had a obligation to protect its Afghan companions. He mentioned Afghans and the US experienced complied with their aspect of the agreement, even though the Taliban appeared intent on “squandering” the option.

On Tuesday alone, he explained the Taliban introduced 43 attacks on checkpoints belonging to Afghan forces in Helmand.

“We contact on the Taliban to halt unnecessary assaults and uphold their commitments. As we have demonstrated, we will protect our associates when demanded,” he wrote.

The Taliban has so far declined to ensure or deny responsibility for any of the attacks.

What is the background?

On Saturday the US and the Taliban signed an “settlement for bringing peace” to Afghanistan following much more than 18 years of conflict.

The US and its Nato allies agreed to withdraw all troops inside of 14 months if the militants upheld the deal.

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Media captionThe United States and the Taliban mark the signing of their arrangement in Doha.

But violence surged in Afghanistan just times following the agreement was signed, with the Taliban ending a partial truce and resuming preventing with Afghan governing administration troops.

Central to the obstacles facing the deal is a disagreement more than prisoner swaps.

Beneath the accord, some 5,000 Taliban prisoners and 1,000 Afghan security pressure prisoners are intended to be exchanged by 10 March, when talks between the Taliban and the Afghan federal government are owing to start out.

But Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani explained on Sunday his govt had agreed to no this sort of launch. And on Monday the militants mentioned talks would not consider place if their prisoners were not released 1st.

Adhering to stories of several Taliban attacks on Tuesday, Mr Trump shared a mobile phone contact with a chief of the group, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, about preserving peace attempts on keep track of.

The US president mentioned it was a “extremely superior converse”, though the Taliban stated Mr Trump had pledged to question his Secretary of Condition Mike Pompeo to converse with Mr Ghani to make absolutely sure negotiations involving the Afghan authorities and the Taliban went forward as planned.

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Media captionIs peace with the Taliban doable?

The Taliban have formerly refused to negotiate with the Afghan govt, so Saturday’s deal was just with the US.

The US attacked Afghanistan in October 2001 to oust the Taliban, whom they reported had been harbouring Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda figures connected to the 9/11 attacks. The Taliban were eliminated from energy but became an insurgent drive that by 2018 was lively in additional than two-thirds of the region.

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