Conflicts & War

US carries out airstrikes against Afghan Taliban ahead of Moscow peace meet

Kabul, Mar 17 (efe-epa).-The United States confirmed on Wednesday that it had carried out airstrikes within the last 48 hours against Taliban fighters trying to attack Afghan forces, a day ahead of an international conference in Moscow aimed at accelerating the intra-Afghan peace process.

“USFOR-A (US forces in Afghanistan) conducted airstrikes within the last 48 hours targeting Taliban fighters (who were) actively attacking and maneuvering on ANDSF (Afghan National Defense and Security Forces) positions,” US Forces spokesperson in Afghanistan Sonny Leggett tweeted.

“The US continues to defend ANDSF,” he asserted.

Taliban spokesperson Qari Yusuf Ahmadi termed the airstrikes a “clear violation” of the US-Taliban agreement signed in Doha in February 2020.

He alleged that the bombings were carried out against Taliban fighters who were traveling or had returned to their bases, and that “a number of Mujahidins (fighters) were martyred and injured.”

“We strongly condemn the American invaders’ crimes and airstrikes, this is a clear violation of the Doha agreement, which cannot be justified in any way,” the spokesperson said.

He warned that if the US forces “continue such illiberal actions and bombings contrary to the agreement (…) then Mujahidins also reserve the right to defend their fighters and will take similar actions against the foreign forces.”

“In that case, US forces will be responsible for the consequences.”

The US has significantly reduced airstrikes against the Taliban in Afghanistan after agreeing to withdraw their troops from the country by May 1 as part of the Doha accord.

However, US President Joe Biden on Wednesday acknowledged in an interview with American broadcaster ABC that the pullout could be postponed as Afghanistan had been experiencing growing violence in recent months.

The strikes come even as delegations of the Afghan government and the Taliban are on their way to Moscow to take part in the international peace conference on Thursday which aims to push forward the stalled peace negotiations that have been going on in Doha since September. EFE-EPA


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