US military warns of ‘responses’ if Taliban violence continues – World

The US military in Afghanistan on Saturday urged warring parties to "return to the political path" in a rare open letter to the Taliban, as increased violence risks destroying the peace process.

In a two-page letter to the Taliban, the spokesman for the US and Afghan forces, Col. Sonny Leggett, said that "all parties" must show restraint to avoid further bloodshed.

"If violence cannot be reduced, then yes, there will be answers," Leggett wrote in a letter to Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

"All parties must also return to the political path. Afghans should sit down now and start talking together about the future of Afghanistan. " he added

The letter came after General Scott Miller, who leads US and NATO troops in Afghanistan, on April 28 warned the Taliban about the possible consequences of continued violence.

Under the terms of an agreement between the United States and the Taliban signed on February 29, the Taliban pledged to stop attacking US and foreign partner troops, and agreed to start peace talks with the Kabul administration after an exchange of prisoners.

In return, the United States and other foreign troops will leave Afghanistan within 14 months of signing the agreement.

The United States agreed not to attack the Taliban, although it has reserved the right to hit them to support Afghan forces if they are attacked.

The Taliban also made a verbal commitment to reduce violence by up to 80 percent, Leggett said, and to stop the attacks in urban areas. Instead, there has been a "drastic increase" in violence, he noted.

While the Taliban refrained from attacking coalition forces and cities, they returned to the battlefield at the time the deal was signed, and have unleashed an average of 55 attacks a day against Afghan forces, according to Afghan officials. .

Meanwhile, the prisoner exchange has stalled as the Afghan government worries about releasing hard-line Taliban members who will return to the fight.

In a brief response to Leggett's letter, Mujahid scolded the United States for making "provocative statements."

"We are committed to our end, honoring your own obligations," Mujahid wrote on Twitter.

The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has repeatedly said that he wants American troops to return to their country and the Taliban realize that as long as they do not attack American or foreign troops, there are few consequences for the continued attacks. experts say.

The Taliban have mounted more than 4,500 attacks since they signed an agreement with the United States, according to data seen by Reuters. The worst affected provinces are those with the most Covid-19 infections, which are spreading rapidly throughout the war-torn country.

Additional contribution from Reuters



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