All the doubts pertaining to the US-Taliban peace deal has come true as the latter carried out an airstrike Taliban fighters to defend Afghan forces on Wednesday. The fresh violence has thrown the peace process for a spin as this is the second incidence of violence. Earlier this week, least three people lost their lives and seven were injured in a deadly explosion in Afghanistan's eastern Khost province ending a period of relative calm.
Taliban unleashes violence on Afghan forces
As per the US officials, the airstrikes were conducted in southern Helmand province, the first airstrike in 11 days shortly after US President Donald Trump informed reporters he had had a "very good" chat with the Taliban political chief. Notably, soon after the peace deal with the US was signed, the Taliban unleashed a fresh phase of violence on Afghan forces. US Forces-Afghanistan spokesman Sonny Leggett informed about the attack through Twitter.
He tweeted, "The US conducted an airstrike on March 4 against Taliban fighters in Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand, who were actively attacking an #ANDSF checkpoint. This was a defensive strike to disrupt the attack. This was our 1st strike against the Taliban in 11 days."
The attacks after the peace deal have already claimed at least 20 Afghan soldiers and policemen in a series of overnight attacks. The development has also cast doubts over peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban that is likely to start from March 10.
As per the deal, the US-led NATO forces will leave Afghanistan within 14 months, subject to Taliban security guarantees on the condition that the Taliban would hold talks with an elected national government based out of Kabul. The agreement has also called for an exchange of 5,000 Taliban prisoners held by the Afghan government in return for 1,000 captives, something the Taliban has touted as a prerequisite for talks. But it seems unlikely that President Ashraf Ghani would accept such demand and has already turned it down. Experts believe that the peace deal with the Taliban is likely to give Trump a boost just before the election which will take place in November.