KABUL: American forces conducted two airstrikes on Taliban fighters to foil the militant group’s plan to launch attacks on Afghan security forces, a US military spokesperson said on Friday, in a move that could hurt the peace process.
The airstrikes, conducted in two different provinces, were the first since the start of the Eid ceasefire declared by the Taliban and Afghan forces last month.
Sonny Leggett, a US military spokesperson based in Afghanistan, said in a tweet that an airstrike was carried out against 25 armed Taliban fighters executing a coordinated attack on an Afghan force checkpoint in Farah province in the west.
He said a second attack was conducted in Kandahar in the south.
USFOR-A conducted 2 airstrikes on June 4 to disrupt coord. TB attacks on ANDSF checkpoints, IAW the US-TB agrmt. We reiterate: All sides must reduce violence to allow the peace process to take hold. These were the 1st US airstrikes against TB since the start of the Eid ceasefire— USFOR-A Spokesman Col Sonny Leggett (@USFOR_A) June 5, 2020
Overnight, USFOR-A conducted an airstrike against 25 armed TB fighters executing a coordinated attack on an #ANDSF checkpoint in Farah Prov. This afternoon, USFOR-A conducted a strike on TB fighters attacking an ANDSF checkpoint in Kandahar Prov.— USFOR-A Spokesman Col Sonny Leggett (@USFOR_A) June 5, 2020
He did not give casualty figures, and a Taliban spokesperson refused to comment on the airstrikes, which were conducted at a time when the United States is steadily pulling its troops out of Afghanistan.
US President Donald Trump in recent weeks has restated his desire for a full military withdrawal from Afghanistan but has not set a target date, amid speculation he might make ending America’s longest war part of his re-election campaign.
But Afghan security officials and European diplomats said the fighting had yet to ebb despite all parties working towards finding a political settlement to end the Afghan war.
At least 10 Afghan security forces members were killed on Friday morning in an ambush by the Taliban in southern Zabul province, Afghan officials said.
The Taliban have not claimed responsibility for the attack.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ