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18 Oct, 2020 20:48

Taliban accuses Washington of breaching peace deal after US military conducts ‘defensive’ airstrikes on militants

Taliban accuses Washington of breaching peace deal after US military conducts ‘defensive’ airstrikes on militants

The Taliban has accused the US of violating the landmark Doha agreement which envisions the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan. The Pentagon, however, claimed the strikes came in response to a new Taliban offensive.

The militant group bemoaned “excessive” airstrikes on Sunday, warning the US of potential consequences if the hostilities continue.

“American forces have violated the Doha agreement in various forms by carrying out excessive airstrikes following the new developments in Helmand province,” Taliban spokesman Qari Muhammad Yousuf Ahmadi said in a statement.

Responsibility and consequences from continuation of such actions shall fall squarely on the shoulders of the American side.

Earlier this week, the Taliban launched a major offensive against Afghan government forces in the southern province of Helmand in an apparent attempt to capture its capital. The offensive invoked a response from the US-led coalition forces who launched airstrikes against the Taliban militants in an attempt to help the country’s government troops.

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Despite the angry rhetoric of the Taliban, the US military did not seem to be ready to back down. Responding to the group’s complaints, spokesman for the US forces Colonel Sonny Leggett claimed the airstrikes did not actually breach the Doha agreement and are “consistent” with it.

“US 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,” Leggett tweeted, urging all the sides of the decades-long war to “reduce violence.”

The agreement between the Taliban and the US was signed in February this year in Doha, Qatar. The deal envisioned the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Afghanistan, while the Taliban pledged to engage in talks with the country’s government to reach a peaceful settlement to the lengthy war.

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The intra-Afghanistan talks kicked off in Doha last month. No significant progress in the negotiations has been reported so far, while the violence continues in the war-torn country.

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