U.S. Conducts Airstrikes on Taliban in Afghanistan

The U.S. launched an airstrike against the Taliban in Afghanistan on Wednesday, days after the Trump administration signed a deal with the military group, The Hill reported.

A spokesperson for the U.S. military said the strike was launched to interrupt a Taliban attack on a checkpoint manned by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), the latest in what the spokesperson said was a string of attacks on such installations.

“The US conducted an airstrike on March 4 against Taliban fighters in Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand, who were actively attacking an #ANDSF checkpoint. This was a defensive strike to disrupt the attack. This was our 1st strike against the Taliban in 11 days,” Col. Sonny Leggett, a spokesperson for the U.S. operation in Afghanistan, tweeted.

“On March 3rd alone, the Taliban conducted 43 attacks on #ANDSF checkpoints in #Helmand. The Taliban claim to be fighting to free Afg. from int’l forces, the Feb 29 agreement provides a conditions-based path to withdrawal,” he added.

The checkpoint attacks and the U.S. military’s response come days after the Trump administration and the Taliban signed an agreement that would lead to a substantial drawdown of troops in Afghanistan.

Under the deal signed Saturday, the U.S. military must decrease troop levels to 8,600 in 135 days. The deal also lays out a timeline for a full U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in 14 months if the Taliban lives up to its commitments. 

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