The Taliban has accused the United States of violating the peace agreement that was signed between the two in late February this year. The Taliban alleged that the United States is pushing the deal towards a breaking point by carrying out drone attacks on civilians. The Taliban in a statement said it would escalate attacks on the US and Afghan government installations if they continue their alleged violation of the peace deal.
The US Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A) spokesperson Col Sonny Leggett took to Twitter to deny the Taliban's allegations. Leggett wrote, "USFOR-A has upheld, and continues to uphold, the military terms of the US-Taliban agreement; any assertion otherwise is baseless. USFOR-A has been clear- we will defend our ANDSF partners if attacked, in compliance with the agreement."
The TB 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. We once again call on all parties to focus their efforts on the global pandemic of COVID-19.— USFOR-A Spokesman Col Sonny Leggett (@USFOR_A) April 5, 2020
The United States and the Taliban signed the peace deal after 20 years of war and 18 months of negotiations. The deal which was signed in the presence of leaders from Pakistan, Qatar, Turkey, India, Indonesia, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan would see the gradual withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan under a timeline of 14 months. The deal also requires Afghanistan to guarantee that their land will not be used as a launchpad that would threaten the security of the United States and its allies.
The deal was reportedly signed by US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban political chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar with Mike Pompeo as a witness. As per reports, more than 1,00,000 Afghan citizens have lost their lives or wounded since 2009 when the UN Assistance Mission began documenting casualties, while the US has lost over 2,000 personnel to the war since 2001.
(Image Credit: AP)