Will defend our Afghan partners if attacked: USA military in Afghanistan

Cheryl Sanders
April 6, 2020

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, meets with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 23, 2020.

The waning comes as the political dispute in Afghanistan has raised concern about the fate of the Taliban-US agreement and efforts to counter coronavirus.

The Taliban said these limits on their attacks had not been specifically laid out in the agreement with the US signed in February.

The Taliban argued that they had reduced violence substantially, and the only strikes they have conducted were rural attacks on Afghan government targets, adding that no cities were attacks, and no foreign troops came under fire at all.

The U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation have already begun to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

The US cut down $1 billion out of the several billion dollars in aid to Afghanistan as a result of the rival leaders failure to agree on forming a new government. "A high peace council should be established and (Dr. Abdullah) should head the high peace council", Ghani said, as quoted by the TOLOnews broadcaster. Money is needed to maintain the US-backed government's ability to fight the Taliban while preserving its bargaining power in peace talks, he said.

The Taliban have accused the Afghan government of using "indefensible arguments" to explain repeated delays in releasing a promised 5,000 Taliban prisoners in exchange for 1,000 government personnel.

"We are seriously asking the Americans to abide by the contents of the agreement and to alert their allies to fully abide by the agreement", the Taliban statement said.

The Taliban spokesman warned that if such a "breach continued" it would create an atmosphere of mistrust that will not only damage the agreements; but also force the Taliban to similar response and will increase the level of fighting. He described the Taliban assertion as baseless.

"USFOR-A has been clear - we will defend our ANDSF (Afghan National Defense and Security Forces) partners if attacked, in compliance with the agreement", US Forces Afghanistan spokesman Colonel Sonny Leggett tweeted.

"The Taliban must reduce violence". A reduction in violence is the will of the Afghan people & necessary to allow the political process to work toward a settlement suitable for all Afghans. There is no sign the United States will do anything to pressure the Ghani government on prisoner releases.

Taliban want release of their 5000 prisoners before the start of the intra-Afghan negotiations as was committed in the US-Taliban agreement.

Those releases have stumbled even as the Taliban sent a three member team to Kabul last week.

Other reports by iNewsToday