Taliban warns of attacks on US troops after withdrawal deadline under Trump deal passes

The Taliban warned of future attacks on U.S. troops after a withdrawal deadline that was negotiated under the Trump administration passed Saturday. 

“As withdrawal of foreign forces from #Afghanistan by agreed upon May 1st deadline has passed, this violation in principle has opened the way for [Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan] Mujahidin to take every counteraction it deems appropriate against the occupying forces,” tweeted Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid. 

“The Mujahidin of IEA will now await what decision the leadership of Islamic Emirate takes in light of the sovereignty, values and higher interests of the country, and will then take action accordingly, Allah willing,” he added.

The warning comes on the May 1 deadline the Taliban and Trump administration agreed to for a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. The Taliban warned that it would resume attacks on U.S. forces if the deadline was missed.

President Biden last month announced he would have all troops leave Afghanistan by Sept. 11, moving the deadline back by about four months.

Under Biden’s plan, May 1 is the start of the U.S. military’s withdrawal from the country. The U.S. is sending additional troops to Afghanistan to protect retreating forces. 

The Taliban has largely refrained from attacks on the U.S. and coalition forces since the agreement was reached with the Trump administration, but violence against Afghan military personnel and civilians has continued. 

While questions remain over whether Afghan forces will be able to stave off the Taliban without a U.S. presence in the country, the government has insisted that it is prepared to respond to any violence from the armed group. Meanwhile, security was ramped up in the capital city of Kabul on Saturday, according to Reuters.

“Taliban attacks may increase because they think power can be gained through war. We are ready to respond,” tweeted Tariq Arian, a spokesperson for the Afghan Ministry of Interior. 

Ongoing talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban for some form of power-sharing deal have thus far proved fruitless. Meanwhile, the Taliban is considered to be at its strongest point since the U.S.’s 2001 invasion, holding sway or full control of an estimated half of the country.

Tags Afghan peace process Afghanistan conflict Joe Biden Taliban War in Afghanistan Withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan

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