Taliban agrees to suspend attacks after US ends air strikes

Kaylee Greenlee, DCNF 

The Taliban agreed to suspend recent attacks targeting southern Afghanistan after U.S. forces said they would end strikes as part of the peace agreement established in February, the Associated Press reported.

The U.S. was organizing drone strikes, night raids and air assaults targeting Taliban attacks aimed at Afghan forces in the southern Helmand province, the AP reported. Taliban officials met with U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Gen. Austin Miller and agreed to suspend the attacks after U.S. forces said they would stop retaliatory attacks, according to a Taliban official familiar with the matter.

The agreement came after multiple rounds of negotiations resulting in an agreed “reset” entailing a “reduced number of operations,” Khalilzad said Thursday.

“Following several meetings Gen. Miller and I had with the Taliban we agreed to re-set actions by strictly adhering to implementation of all elements of the U.S.-Taliban agreement and all commitments made,” Khalilzad said.

Taliban officials reportedly told American officials that “their military is carrying drone strikes on our positions, conducting night raids and using fighter jets to bomb our mujahedeen,” according to a Taliban official, the AP reported.

“We told them, ‘You had promised not to carry out attacks. We react to your attacks’,” the Taliban official said, the AP reported.

Both sides agreed to strictly adhere to the February peace agreement, the Taliban official said, according to the AP.

“We have directed our mujahedeen in Helmand to stop their advance. We hope the U.S. will stop further bombing,” the Taliban official said, the AP reported.

Over 5,600 families reportedly left the Helmand province during the week of attacks carried out by the Taliban and American and Afghan responses, the AP reported.

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