US launches first Taliban air strikes since Afghan ceasefire end

US launches first Taliban air strikes since Afghan ceasefire end

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Cabourg: The US military said Friday that since the rare ceasefire between the rebels and the Afghan forces ended more than a week ago, the United States launched its first air strike on the Taliban.

The two assaults took place on Thursday and Friday in separate provinces in Afghanistan, US forces spokesman Sonny Leggett said on Twitter.

“These were the 1st US airstrikes against (the Taliban) since the start of the Eid ceasefire,” he wrote.

“We reiterate: All sides must reduce violence to allow the peace process to take hold,” he added.

The Ministry of the Interior said that ten members of the Afghan forces were killed in another attack on the Hummer on Friday, blaming the Taliban for the attack.

The group did not immediately comment.

The Taliban announced a three-day accidental ceasefire with Afghan forces, which ended on May 26 to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

Since then, violence in Afghanistan has generally been on a downward trend, and the Afghan government has indicated that it is ready to start long-delayed peace talks with insurgents.

The US negotiator with the Taliban, Zalmay Khalilzad, left Friday for the region to discuss “the practical next steps necessary for a smooth start to intra-Afghan negotiations,” the State Department said.

He will visit Kabul and Qatar, where he meets regularly with the Taliban and Pakistan, a historical ally of rebels.

Washington signed a landmark agreement with the Taliban in February, in which the United States pledged to withdraw all its troops in exchange for security assurances, paving the way for the warring Afghan parties to negotiate.

Since the signing of the agreement, the Taliban have basically not launched a major attack on Afghan cities, but continue to target the Afghan army.

Under an agreement excluding the Afghan government, Washington and militants said they would avoid attacking each other.

However, the Pentagon said last month that when the Taliban attacks Afghan partners, it will continue to conduct a defensive blow against the Taliban.

The February agreement will allow all US troops and foreign troops to withdraw from Afghanistan in mid-2021, nearly 20 years after Washington’s first invasion.

Thousands of US troops have been evacuated, and last month senior US defense officials estimated that the remaining number of people in the country was about 8,500.

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