Kabul, Jul 27 (EFE).- The Taliban on Tuesday condemned the United States’ decision to continue offering air support to Afghan security forces even after the withdrawal of international troops from the country, which has allowed the insurgents to make rapid territorial gains.
“We condemn the continued airstrikes by the Americans and this is a clear violation of the Doha agreement. All of their activities in Afghanistan after May are illegal and this is aggression,” principal Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid told EFE.
“If Americans continue the airstrikes, then they will be responsible for the consequences and we will not remain silent,” he warned.
The withdrawal of US and NATO troops, set to be completed by late August, was part of the agreement signed last year in Doha by Washington and the Taliban.
As part of the deal, the US had agreed to completely pull out from Afghan soil and the rebels had agreed to hold a dialog with the Afghan government for a political resolution to the war.
However, despite the intra-Afghan negotiations kicking off in September 2020, the two sides have failed to reach an agreement, even as the Taliban have intensified their offensive on the ground and seized control of around 125 district headquarters within weeks.
In this context, the Afghan government confirmed on Tuesday that despite the withdrawal of its troops, the US will continue to offer air support to Afghan forces in their fight against the Taliban, including carrying out airstrikes to defend local forces under attack, logistic support, funding and intelligence.
Most of such strikes in the recent past have been carried out in the southern Kandahar province, which has witnessed heavy fighting between Afghan forces and the Taliban.
The Afghan government has said that it is working on a six-month security plan to check the insurgents’ gains and gradually move from a defensive posture to an aggressive strategy to regain lost territory.
However, the Kabul administration is under immense pressure and “the next days and weeks will determine if the government is going to be able to defend the country that they have,” the commander of the US Central Command Kenneth McKenzie said recently, adding that “I don’t think it’s going to be an easy task.” EFE