The US launched airstrikes against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan within the past 48 hours, a US military spokesman said on Wednesday.
US Forces-Afghanistan spokesman Col. Sonny Leggett said on Twitter that the strikes targeted the Taliban in several districts in Kandahar province but did not disclose how many attacks were launched.
The Taliban said the US bombings violated the peace deal that was signed in Doha last year. Under the agreement, both sides agreed not to attack the other, a pledge the Taliban has lived up to.
February 8th marked the first full year since the war started that no US troops have died in combat in Afghanistan. Direct US attacks on the Taliban have declined since the deal was signed, but they do happen occasionally.
“We strongly condemn these bombardments and crimes by the American invaders,” Taliban spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi said on Wednesday. “This is clearly a violation of the Doha agreement.”
The Taliban said its members were targeted by the US while they were on their bases or traveling. But the US dismissed the Taliban’s claim and justified the airstrikes by framing them as being done in defense of the Afghan military. Leggett said the US targeted Taliban fighters that were actively “attacking” Afghan government forces.
The US strike on the Taliban comes as the May 1st withdrawal deadline is approaching. The US has yet to make an official decision on whether or not troops will leave the country. In an interview that aired on Wednesday, President Biden said he was still deliberating and said it would be “tough” to meet the May 1st deadline.