The US ran Wednesday its initial airstrike against Taliban forces in Afghanistan, a military spokesman said, days after registering an ambitious peace deal with the militant group from the Mideastern nation of Qatar.
US army spokesman Col. Sonny Leggett stated in a tweet the”defensive” attack was the initial US assault against the militants in 11 days. He said the assault was supposed to cancel a Taliban attack on Afghan government forces from Nahr-e Saraj from the southern Helmand province.
According to a spokesman for the state’s governor, Omer Zwak, at least 2 police officers were killed and another wounded in the Washer district of southern Helmand.
Leggett called on the Taliban to halt the strikes and uphold their responsibilities depending on the agreement signed on Feb. 29 involving their leaders and US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in Doha, Qatar, that lays a conditions-based route to the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan.
President Donald Trump confirmed Tuesday he talked on the telephone into some Taliban leader, which makes him the first US president thought to have spoken directly with the militant group responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of US troops at almost 19 decades of fighting in Afghanistan.
Kandahar police spokesman Jamal Naser Barekzai told The Associated Press that a police officer had been killed and one injured in a series of Taliban strikes throughout the province.
The Taliban haven’t claimed responsibility for at least one of these attacks up to now or remarked about the US airstrike Wednesday.
But, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told the AP Wednesday a week of decrease in violence which began midnight Feb. 21 had stopped.
Depending on the US-based Taliban deal, peace negotiations between the warring Afghan sides should start on March 10. On the other hand, the Afghan government has rejected releasing Taliban prisoners before launching the discussions, a precondition that the militants state was a portion of the US arrangement.
Leggett explained that US forces are responsible for protecting their Afghan allies based on arrangements involving US and Afghan authorities.