US forces in Afghanistan said that they carried out an airstrike on the Taliban in the defense of the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF) in southern Afghanistan, stating that the attack was in accordance with the US-Taliban peace agreement.
“USFOR-A conducted airstrikes within the last 48 hours targeting Taliban fighters actively attacking and maneuvering on ANDSF positions in Zharay, Spin Boldak and Kandahar Districts, Kandahar. Taliban claims otherwise are false. The US continues to defend ANDSF in accordance with the US-Taliban agreement,” tweeted USFOR-A Spokesman Col Sonny Leggett.
But the Taliban said that the US forces targeted the group's fighters while they were on their bases or traveling, adding that the move is a clear violation of the Doha agreement.
Meanwhile, Sirajuddin Haqqani, the leader of the Haqqani network and the Taliban’s deputy leader, said that the Taliban has not conducted any attacks against US forces, but foreign forces have violated the Doha peace deal over 1,000 times.
Haqqani also accused US President Joe Biden of deliberately creating an environment of mistrust and warned of severe consequences if the agreement is violated.
In the meantime, US President Joe Biden said that it will be “tough” for the US to meet a May 1st deadline to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan, but that the complete drawdown won’t take much longer.
“That was not a very solidly negotiated deal that the president, the former president, worked out,” Biden said in an interview with ABC News.
“We’re in consultation with our allies as well as the government and that decision is in process now,” he said.
The deadline to end America’s longest war six weeks from now was set under an agreement reached by former President Donald Trump and the Taliban, without the buy-in of the Afghan government.
Biden, in the interview, said of the May 1 deadline: “It could happen, but it is tough.” If the deadline is extended, he added, it won’t be by “a lot longer.”