US Airstrikes Target Taliban in First After Saturday’s Peace Deal

US insists attack was a 'defensive' measure

The long-awaited US peace deal in Afghanistan was signed with the Taliban on Saturday. On Wednesday, US warplanes carried out an airstrike on Taliban forces, the first attack since the peace.

US officials are presenting this as a “defensive” measure, even though the Taliban had made it a point not to attack foreign troops since the deal was signed, and rather were attacking Afghan government forces over an existing disagreement about prisoner exchanges.

The Taliban targeted in the US strike were in the process of attacking a government checkpoint, and a US spokesman said the Taliban were not abiding by a commitment to reduce attacks on the Afghans.

This is a problem because the US had committed to the Afghan government releasing 5,000 prisoners as part of this, and when the Ghani government reneged on that, the Taliban reneged on the violence reduction. The Taliban has offered talks, but only talks about the prisoner release.

When the Taliban announced this position on Monday, the US suggested they were going to stay in the peace deal so long as the Taliban wasn’t attacking them. Now, it seems the US has changed its mind, and will be attacking the Taliban, calling it defense, and pretending that the Taliban are the ones threatening the peace.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.