Monday, July 5, 2021

Taliban Says Seizing Kabul Not A Military Objective, But Warns ‘Policy’ Could Change If Foreign Troops Stay Past Exit Deadline - FARS


(FNA)- The Taliban hinted that Kabul could become a military target should any foreign troops remain in the Afghan capital past the US-led coalition’s withdrawal deadline, as the group continues to seize more territory.

Taliban Spokesman Suhail Shaheen told the BBC that any foreign soldiers who stay behind after the September exit agreement risk being treated as occupiers.

He said that, while capturing the Afghan capital was “not Taliban policy”, nothing would be off the table should foreign forces – including military contractors – remain in the capital after the withdrawal was complete.

“If they leave behind their forces against the Doha agreement, then, in that case, it will be the decision of our leadership how we proceed. We would react and the final decision is with our leadership,” the official added.

He stressed that the Taliban would “not pose any threat” to diplomats and NGO workers based in Kabul, however.

The warning comes after the Pentagon signaled that as many as 1,000 US troops could remain in the city to guard embassies and help protect Kabul’s airport. The Taliban may view the plan as a violation of its deal with the US-led coalition, in which foreign forces agreed to leave after nearly 20 years in return for reassurances that Afghanistan would not become a safe haven for terrorists.

US President Joe Biden has vowed to pull all American forces from the war-torn nation by September 11, and the bulk of US forces stationed there have reportedly already left the country. It’s believed the withdrawal could be complete in the coming days. Many of Washington’s NATO allies have already fully exited Afghanistan.

The pullout coincides with a string of Taliban victories against forces loyal to Kabul. It claims it now controls more than 100 of Afghanistan’s nearly 400 districts, although Kabul disputes this figure.

In Washington, the deteriorating military situation in Afghanistan has become a touchy topic. Biden refused to answer questions on Friday about the pullout and the worsening security situation, explaining to reporters that he wanted to talk about “happy things".

1 comment :

  1. A small number of the Special Air Service (SAS), a Special Forces unit of the British Army, will stay in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of Western troops from the country, The Telegraph has cited an unnamed former SAS soldier as saying.

    The ex-serviceman claimed the SAS troops would "provide training to Afghan units and deploy with them on the ground as advisers", adding that there was "no determined time" for how long the UK special forces will have boots on the ground in Afghanistan.

    "As long as they continue to see value they will keep forces there. It's not a pleasant place at the moment, people are scared and rightly so", he said.

    The former SAS soldier also pointed to the Taliban continuing to "control the countryside and are just waiting for the coalition to leave".

    "They are making it abundantly clear at every opportunity that their peace is with the coalition and not the Afghan government. The country will implode", he said, Sputnik reported.

    The Telegraph additionally quoted an unnamed senior military source as saying that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to make an official decision on the matter during a meeting of the National Security Council later on Monday.

    "It's our job to provide a range of different options to the government", the source stressed.

    The remarks followed defense sources telling The Guardian on Friday that the withdrawal of the last of the UK's regular troops from Afghanistan is slated to be complete "in the next few days".

    The British Ministry of Defense, for its part, stated that "the UK is involved in ongoing discussions with the US and international allies regarding the future of our support to Afghanistan".

    The statement came as US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said at a press conference that the pullout of American troops from Afghanistan is proceeding according to plan, adding that Washington will do its best to make the drawdown deliberate, orderly, and safe as well as to protect its people and partners.

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Δημοσιεύτηκε από Geo Kok στις Τρίτη, 9 Φεβρουαρίου 2021
Δημοσιεύτηκε από Geo Kok στις Παρασκευή, 5 Φεβρουαρίου 2021

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