In reaction to the killing of a senior al-Qaeda leader Husam Abdul Rauf, known as Abu Mohsen al-Misri, the Afghan Army’s Chief of Staff Yasin Zia said the Taliban has yet to cut their ties with al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.
According to an analysis in the Long War Journal, the US has confirmed that al-Misri was killed in Ghazni province earlier this month.
The Taliban committed in the deal they signed with the US to have no relations with any terrorist groups in the country.
“They (the Taliban) have not cut ties with al-Qaeda. They have relations with other terrorist groups in the region and with Pakistanis, they clearly are working shoulder-to-shoulder in Helmand,” Zia said.
Al-Misri started his activities in al-Qaeda in the 1980s and was a trusted aide to al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Reacting to the al-Qaeda member’s death, President Ashraf Ghani said on Sunday that “the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is strongly committed to countering terrorism and will not let the country once again become a safe haven of terrorists. Our joint mission with our international allies will continue to root out the scourge of terrorism."
“Our proud national defense and security forces will never allow ten million of their countrymen to be displaced,” Ghani said.
The Long War Journal reports that it's not clear whether the Taliban-linked individuals had a role in recognizing al-Misri’s hideout, but it has mentioned that it is a clear violation of the US-Taliban deal. The Taliban spokesman said that the killing of the al-Qaeda member in a conflict zone requires an investigation.
This comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday that the continued presence of US troops in Afghanistan is beneficial for overall security.
“Initially, we backed US forces’ presence in Afghanistan and earlier voted in favor of a respective UN Security Council resolution. I still believe that US presence in
Afghanistan does not run counter to our external interests," Putin said in an interview with a program titled “Moscow. Kremlin. Putin” on Rossiya-1 TV channel, Russia’s Tass quoted Putin as saying.