The Taliban released an official statement on Thursday, calling President Biden’s decision to push back the Afghanistan withdrawal deadline to September, a “clear violation” of the US-Taliban peace deal that was signed in Doha last year.
“This decision is a clear violation of the Doha Agreement and non-compliance with its commitments,” the Taliban statement says. The group called on other countries to pressure the US into living up to its end of the agreement and leave by May 1st.
“As this agreement was signed in the presence of United Nations and representatives of numerous world countries and organizations, and is currently being breached by America, it is imperative that all countries and organizations that were witnesses to the signing of this agreement exert pressure on America to implement its commitments and withdraw all forces from Afghanistan by the specified date,” the statement reads.
Since the Doha agreement was signed in February 2020, no US troops have died in combat in Afghanistan. Local Taliban commanders told The Daily Beast on Wednesday that they are ready to attack the US again if troops stay beyond May 1st, warning they could turn the final months of the war into a “nightmare” for the Americans.
The Taliban’s statement on Thursday was a little more restrained but hinted that they might start attacking the US again. The statement reads: “Now as the agreement is being breached by America, it in principle opens the way for the Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate to take every necessary countermeasure, hence the American side will be held responsible for all future consequences, and not the Islamic Emirate.”
President Biden is trying to say he is living up to the Doha agreement since he is starting the withdrawal on May 1st. But the Taliban’s statement makes it clear that they don’t see it that way, and Biden’s decision could cause US troops to be targeted again.