Taliban Says US Drones are Entering Afghan Airspace Through Pakistan

Pakistan has denied that the recent US drone strike in Kabul was launched through its airspace

The Taliban’s acting defense minister said Sunday that US drones have been entering Afghan airspace through Pakistan.

“According to our information the drones are entering through Pakistan to Afghanistan, they use Pakistan’s airspace, we ask Pakistan, don’t use your airspace against us,” said Defense Minister Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob.

Pakistan on Monday denied the Taliban’s claim, saying the allegation lacked evidence. “In the absence of any evidence, such conjectural allegations are highly regrettable and defy the norms of responsible diplomatic conduct,” Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said.

Pakistan denied a similar charge after a recent US drone strike in Kabul that President Biden said targeted al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. For their part, the Taliban denied having knowledge of Zawahiri’s presence in Afghanistan and haven’t confirmed that he was killed in the US drone strike.

The Taliban has also said that they haven’t found the body of Zawahiri. The US has said it doesn’t have DNA proof that Zawahiri was killed but insisted it had “visual” confirmation that the al-Qaeda leader was dead.

The drone strike in Kabul was the first known US airstrike in Afghanistan since last year’s withdrawal. But according to the Taliban, US drones are still flying over the country, likely on surveillance missions.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.