U.S. Carries Out First Airstrike on Taliban Since Doha Deal

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The United States waged an airstrike against Taliban forces in Afghanistan on Tuesday, despite an agreement reached over the weekend to gradually remove American and coalition troops from the country.

Col. Sonny Leggett, a spokesman for the U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, categorized yesterday’s events as a “defensive strike” to halt an active attack by rebels on an Afghan National Security Forces checkpoint.

The Taliban had agreed to a reduction in violence pact 11 days ago but on Monday decided to continue its operations against Afghan forces while still avoiding engagement with foreign troops. Since then, skirmishes between the Taliban and Afghan security forces have flared up in nine provinces, a Ministry of Defence representative reported.

In response, Leggett reiterated Washington’s commitment to peace but said that the United States would defend Afghan forces as necessary. “Taliban leadership promised the [international] community they would reduce violence and not increase attacks,” he said in a tweet. “We call on the Taliban to stop needless attacks and uphold their commitments.”

source: Reuters

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