KABUL (Dispatches) – The Taliban have warned the U.S. of ‘counteraction’, saying Washington is violating the 2020 Doha agreement on the withdrawal of troops from the country.
According to the agreement between the Taliban and the U.S. reached after months of negotiations in the Qatari capital, all foreign troops were to depart Afghanistan by May 1. However, U.S. President Joe Biden set a new deadline of Sept. 11, 2021 for the exit to match with the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
In a statement, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said the group’s leadership would decide on the future line of action. "As withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan by agreed upon May 1st deadline has passed, this violation in principle has opened the way for IEA [Taliban] Mujahidin to take every counteraction it deems appropriate against the occupying forces,” he said.
The statement added that the Taliban now awaited what decision its leadership would take "in light of the sovereignty, values and higher interests of the country.”
American troops began withdrawing from Afghanistan as part of the Biden administration’s plan to fully leave the war-hit country after 20 years of conflict, CNN reported on Thursday.
Int’l Airfield Comes Under Attack
A major international airfield in Afghanistan has come under attack as the United States officially begins pulling out its troops from the country in what President Joe Biden has called ending "the forever war.”
The final phase of ending America’s 20-year war in Afghanistan was formally launched Saturday.
The remaining U.S. and NATO forces -- about 2,500-3,500 U.S. troops and about 7,000 NATO soldiers, will leave Afghanistan by the end of summer.
Sonny Leggett, the U.S. military spokesman in Afghanistan, confirmed in a tweet on Sunday that "Kandahar Airfield received ineffective indirect fire this afternoon,” adding the attack had caused no human or material losses.
Police Chief of Kandahar Sharifullah Sartayib confirmed the attack on the airfield, formerly called Kandahar International Airport, saying two rockets were fired but there was no damage to the airfield.
Four other rockets, he said, had been founded and defused in the city of Arghistan, which were also ready to launch at targets at the airport.
Afghanistan has also ramped up security in the capital, Kabul, as the city braces for a possible reaction from the Taliban.