With US Troops Leaving Afghanistan but Airstrikes Continuing, Resurgent Taliban Warns Retaliation Is Coming


The U.S. military launched serval airstrikes against the Taliban this week in support of Afghan government forces, but the insurgents reportedly warned that there will be “consequences.”

“In the last several days we have acted, through airstrikes, to support the [Afghan national defense and security forces],” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said on Thursday, according to The Associated Press.

Another defense official said that more than four airstrikes were conducted in support of Afghan security forces, the outlet reported.

At least two of the airstrikes destroyed military equipment the Taliban had stolen from Afghan forces.

Tajuden Soroush, a senior correspondent for Iran International, said the Taliban warned that these strikes will have “consequences.”

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“Taliban warns the US that airstrikes in Kandahar and Helmand provinces will have consequences, calling it [a] violation of Doha agreement,” he tweeted.

These were the first known U.S. strikes since Gen. Scott Miller, who had been the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, relinquished his command and left the country last week.

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It is not clear if the strikes will continue after the U.S. military completes its withdrawal from Afghanistan.

President Joe Biden announced this month that the military would leave Afghanistan by Aug. 31, ahead of his previously announced Sept. 11 deadline.

Many people, including former President George W. Bush, have expressed concern about the withdrawal and have questioned the Afghan government’s ability to hold out against the Taliban.

Al-Qaida, the Islamic extremist group that carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks with help from the Taliban, has claimed victory as America’s longest war comes to an end, according to an April report.

At a Pentagon news conference on Wednesday, Gen. Mark Milley said the future of Afghanistan is in the hands of the Afghan people.

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“The Afghan security forces have the capacity to sufficiently fight and defend their country, and we will continue to support the Afghan security forces where necessary in accordance with the guidance from the president and the secretary of defense,” Milley said.

“The future of Afghanistan is squarely in the hands of the Afghan people, and there are a range of possible outcomes in Afghanistan. And I want to emphasize repeatedly — and I’ve said this before — a negative outcome, a Taliban automatic military takeover, is not a foregone conclusion.

Milley added that the Taliban now controls about half of Afghanistan’s 419 district centers.

“A significant amount of territory has been seized over the course of six, eight, 10 months by the Taliban, so momentum appears to be — strategic momentum appears to be — sort of with the Taliban,” he said.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith