Afghan Airstrike Kills 15 Taliban at Local Gathering

Incident comes amid hope of intra-Afghan peace talks

The hope is that intra-Afghan peace talks could be announced any day now, but Afghan government bragging on a high profile airstrike may nix that. At least 15 were killed, with Afghan Interior Ministry saying a number of them were Taliban “leaders.”

Afghan officials say 14 other Taliban were killed in Ghor Province overnight. Between the two, that’s not exactly the level of calm to facilitate the long-awaited peace talks, and once again it’s the Afghan government potentially throwing a spanner in the plans.

The Taliban has complained several times that deliberate attacks on them are a violation of the US-Taliban peace deal, which was meant to lead to more negotiations. The Afghan government isn’t clearly on board with the peace process.

That has meant the government doing things that might sabotage peace, and hoping the US will back them. So far, US drawdowns continue either way, and the Afghan strikes risk provoking a Taliban retaliation they might not be prepared for.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.