President Donald Trump’s administration had signed a deal to withdraw troops from Afghanistan by May 1, but the Taliban is now threatening to target American soldiers if the Biden administration does not adhere to the deal, Stars and Stripes reported.
Insurgents “will definitely return to war” if the U.S. “rejects this deal,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid warned, per the report.
The deal was signed after the last American soldiers were killed in the country more than a year ago, Army Sgts. 1st Class Javier Gutierrez and Antonio Rodriguez on Feb. 8, 2020.
The Taliban’s part of the agreement included ceasing attacks on foreign troops and not harboring terrorist groups such as al-Qaida in Afghanistan. Also, the Taliban made a verbal commitment to reduce violence in the country, which was not in the written text of the deal signed by the Trump administration, per Stars and Stripes.
Despite the vow, violence has surged and al-Qaida remains “heavily embedded” with the Taliban, per the report.
A congressional panel has called for the withdrawal deadline to be moved back, while National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan is “taking a hard look” at the Taliban’s living up to its commitments as the new administration weighs “our force posture and our diplomatic strategy” in Afghanistan.
Taliban deputy Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai vowed if the U.S. withdrawal does not meet the deadline, “we will also kill them,” per Voice of America.
The war in Afghanistan is the longest running conflict in American history and 2,300 American service members have died since it began October 2001, according to Stars and Stripes.
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