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US hits Taliban with airstrikes: US military spokesman

KABUL: The US launched an airstrike against Taliban fighters to defend Afghan forces Wednesday, an American military spokesman said, as violence spirals after a string of deadly attacks by the insurgents, throwing the country's nascent peace process into grave doubt.

News of the airstrike in southern Helmand province -- the first in 11 days -- came hours after US President Donald Trump told reporters he had had a "very good" chat with the Taliban political chief, who on Saturday signed a historic deal with Washington to withdraw foreign forces.


USFOR-A Spokesman Col Sonny Leggett
@USFOR_A
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.



@USFOR_A
On March 3rd alone, the Taliban conducted 43 attacks on #ANDSF checkpoints in #Helmand. The Taliban claim to be fighting to free Afg. from int’l forces, the Feb 29 agreement provides a conditions-based path to withdrawal.

Taliban leadership promised the int’l community they would reduce violence and not increase attacks. We call on the Taliban to stop needless attacks and uphold their commitments. As we have demonstrated, we will defend our partners when required.

To be clear- we are committed to peace, however we have the responsibility to defend our #ANDSF partners. #Afghans & US have complied w/ our agreements; however, Talibs appear intent on squandering this opp. and ignoring the will of the people for #peace. #Showyourcommitment

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