KABUL, Afghanistan – The Taliban has accused the United States troops still in Afghanistan of repeatedly violating the peace deal signed between the two sides in Doha in February, warning Washington must shoulder the blame for subsequent violence.
“In recent days, the United States forces conducted day-and-night airstrikes in Nahri Saraj, Khoshkawa, Babaji of Helmand province, including areas in Gereshk, Sangin, Nawa and Nad Ali districts,” said the Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousof Ahmadi, in a statement. “Also [airstrikes] in Farah and other provinces, which is a clear violation of the Doha agreement.”
Violence in Afghanistan has continued despite the February peace deal between the U.S. and the Taliban; with recent offensives in Helmand that displaced some 6,000 families in the province.
In a respond, Colonel Sonny Leggett, the spokesman for the US forces in Afghanistan, said the “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.”
“We categorically reject the Taliban’s claim the United States has violated the U.S.-Taliban Agreement,” he said in a tweet Sunday. “These strikes are consistent with both the U.S.-Taliban Agreement and the Joint Declaration between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States.”
But Ahmadi defied saying the action was unacceptable, for American forces have violated the Doha agreement in various forms by carrying out excessive airstrikes in Helmand province.
This came at a time the Taliban insurgents escalated violence in Helmand, including a number of cities in North Afghanistan. The recent is a car bomb explosion in Ghor province that left at least 12 dead and 100 further wounded Sunday morning.