Taliban Rejects NATO Call for Troop Presence at Kabul Airport

Taliban say Afghans will be responsible for airport security

With ongoing talks surrounding NATO troops, particularly Turkish troops, staying at the Kabul Airport, the Taliban has interjected, rejecting the idea out of hand, and insisting that foreign forces shouldn’t hold out hope for excuses to keep troops in Afghanistan.

“Every inch of Afghan soil, its airports and security of foreign embassies and diplomatic offices is the responsibility of the Afghans,” the Taliban said in a statement issued Saturday.

The Afghan government isn’t ruling the idea out, however, saying they haven’t decided to hand over security at the airport, but also haven’t finalized the plan, saying the matter is still under discussion.

There has been concern, given the number of diplomats in Kabul, of keeping the airport accessible. There hasn’t been much in the way of problems there in awhile, however, and the Taliban clearly doesn’t see a permanent NATO occupation of the airport as practical.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.