Hours after Taliban announced their so-called spring offensive, a spokesman of the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan, Dave Butler, said the coalition forces will continue to support the Afghan forces in the fight against the Taliban as the group has chosen violence despite a “tremendous” opportunity for peace.
“The Taliban made an announcement this morning that they choose violence over peace. We assemble the Resolute Support leadership together and Gen. Miller said the Taliban have made it clear that they have ignored the will of the people and have guaranteed more violence,” Butler said. “We have a tremendous opportunity for peace. We are closer to peace than we ever have been in the past 40 years.”
“We will support the Afghan security forces as they fight to protect the people, we will support the Afghan security forces as they fight the Taliban,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defense in a statement said the offensive has been announced by the Quetta Shura, Taliban’s leadership council, and that by making such and announcement, the group wants to give morale to its fighters after “facing many defeats”.
The statement said the Afghan Defense and Security Forces will fight the Taliban and that the offensive announcement is mere propaganda.
This comes as the Taliban announced their spring offensive on Friday morning which is entitled Operation Al-Fatha - which means “victory” in Arabic.
The group said in a statement that the offensive will be conducted across Afghanistan with the aim of “eradicating occupation” and “cleansing our Muslim homeland from invasion and corruption”.
“Our Jihadi obligation has not yet ended,” the Taliban said.
President Ashraf Ghani on April 2 approved the security plan for the current solar year as conflicts are intensifying between security forces and Taliban in different parts of the country.
The National Security Council said in a statement that the plan, named Khalid Security Plan, is aimed at boosting security across the country particularly the security of urban areas and highways.