US Air Force Targets Taliban With Airstrikes For Violating Recent Peace Deal

US airstrikes
(File Photo) - U.S. airstrikes against the Taliban. (Staff Sgt. Matthew Lotz/Air Force)

The U.S. Air Force conducted multiple targeted strikes this week to defend Afghan forces facing attacks from Taliban fighters in the province of Helmand, military spokesman Col. Sonny Leggett said Monday.

The attacks carried out by the U.S. were consistent with a deal made between the U.S. and the Taliban in February, Leggett said. However, the attacks executed by the Taliban reportedly violated the deal.

“The Taliban need to immediately stop their offensive actions in Helmand Province and reduce their violence around the country,” the Commander of the U.S. Forces in Afghanistan Gen. Scott Miller said, according to Leggett.

“It is not consistent with the US-Taliban agreement and undermines the ongoing Afghan Peace Talks.”

The strikes followed reports of gunfire in the capital of the Helmand province, the Associated Press reported. Taliban fighters coordinated attacks in the city for around a week that increased over the weekend, Helmand governor spokesperson Omer Zwak said.

“The Taliban have destroyed several bridges over the main highway, so the highway is closed right now and no one can travel,” Zwak said, the AP reported.

The U.S. Air force will continue to defend and support the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces in attacks carried out by the Taliban, Leggett said.

The “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan” was instituted on Feb. 29 between the U.S. and the Taliban, according to the U.S. Department of State.

The agreement mandated all foreign forces withdraw from Afghanistan, denied groups actively working against the U.S. or allies access to Afghanistan, requires the Taliban to negotiate with Afghan sides, and to discuss a “permanent and comprehensive” ceasefire between the Taliban and Afghanistan.