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.”
“Taliban warns the US that airstrikes in Kandahar and Helmand provinces will have consequences, calling it [a] violation of Doha agreement,” he tweeted.
Taliban warns the US that airstrikes in Kandahar and Helmand provinces will have consequences, calling it violation of Doha agreement. Earlier, US troops announced that they conducted airstrikes against Taliban in Qandahar.
— Tajuden Soroush (@TajudenSoroush) July 23, 2021
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.
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.
“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.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.