The U.S. army executed a “defensive” airstrike in opposition to Taliban forces in Afghanistan, considerably less than a 7 days right after signing a historic peace offer with the militant group.
U.S. armed service spokesman Col. Sonny Leggett reported in a tweet that the airstrike Wednesday was done from four Taliban fighters in Nahr-e Saraj, in the Helmand province, who he said ended up “actively attacking” an Afghan National Defense and Protection Pressure (ANDSF) checkpoint.
“This was a defensive strike to disrupt the assault,” he added. “This was our 1st strike versus the Taliban in eleven days.”
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Leggett, who known as on the militant group to uphold their commitments to the peace offer signed on Feb. 29, added that Taliban forces experienced conducted forty three assaults on Afghan troops on Tuesday in the same province.
“To be obvious – we are committed to peace, however, we have the obligation to protect our ANDSF partners,” Leggett continued. “Afghans & US have complied (with) our agreements even so, Talibs appear intent on squandering this (prospect) and ignoring the will of the men and women for peace.”
Afghanistan’s inside ministry claimed four civilians and 11 troops have been killed Wednesday in a wave of attacks attributed to the Taliban throughout the place in the earlier 24 hours. Afghan forces killed at least seventeen Taliban members in the course of individuals clashes.
The Taliban have not claimed obligation for any of the attacks so far and have not commented on the U.S. airstrike.
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President Trump said Tuesday he spoke on the phone to a Taliban chief, earning him the first U.S. president thought to have spoken immediately to the militant group accountable for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. troops in approximately 19 decades of fighting in Afghanistan.
“I spoke to the leader of the Taliban these days,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn. “We had a quite great chat.”
He did not offer any far more details, but Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid confirmed Trump spoke with Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar.
Taliban leaders and U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad signed the historic peace deal in Doha, Qatar. It lays out a situations-primarily based route to the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan.
Secretary of Condition Mike Pompeo, who witnessed the signing of the arrangement, explained to Fox News’ Bret Baier on Monday that the Trump administration was equipped to execute something the Obama administration could not.
“They in no way acquired the Taliban to crack with Al Qaeda and they by no means obtained a motivation that says, ‘If I execute the adhering to disorders based mostly — that is if the violence amounts come down. That is, if the stability posture for the United States of The usa is decreased, then and only then will we supply a commensurate footprint within your place,” he reported.
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Supplemental peace negotiations amongst the warring Afghan sides are intended to commence on March 10. Having said that, Afghanistan’s leaders have presently turned down releasing five,000 Taliban prisoners ahead of launching the talks – a precondition which the militants say was section of the U.S. agreement.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw and Paulina Dedaj, and the Associated Press contributed to this report.