US Forces reject Taliban’s claim they violated Doha agreement

US Forces Afghanistan rejected the Taliban’s claim that the United States violated the US-Taliban agreement but confirmed airstrikes carried out in Helmand and Farah “have been and continue” to be carried out in defense of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF).

USFOR-A spokesman Colonel Sonny Legget said in a series of tweets on Sunday evening: “We categorically reject the Taliban’s claim the United States has violated the US-Taliban Agreement. US airstrikes in Helmand and Farah have been and continue to be solely in defense of the ANDSF as they are being attacked by the Taliban.”

“These strikes are consistent with both the US-Taliban Agreement and the Joint Declaration between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States.”

1/3 We categorically reject the Taliban's claim the United States has violated the U.S.-Taliban Agreement. U.S. airstrikes in Helmand and Farah have been and continue to be solely in defense of the ANDSF as they are being attacked by the Taliban.

— USFOR-A Spokesman Col Sonny Leggett (@USFOR_A) October 18, 2020

“The entire world has witnessed the Taliban’s offensive operations in Helmand – attacks which injured and displaced thousands of innocent Afghan civilians. We reiterate our call for ALL SIDES to reduce the violence to allow the political process to take hold,” he stated.

Leggett’s statement came just hours after the Taliban issued a veiled threat to the US Forces in Afghanistan accusing the United States of having violated the Doha agreement by carrying out airstrikes last week.

In a statement issued by the group’s spokesman on Twitter, the Taliban said: “American forces have violated the Doha agreement in various forms by carrying out excessive airstrikes following the new developments in Helmand province.”

The Doha agreement was signed in February between the Taliban and the US and was conditions-based.

In their statement Sunday, the Taliban said, according to the agreement, the “American forces are prohibited from carrying out airstrikes or targeting anyone in areas other than combat zones or during active fighting”.

The group stated that over the past few days, drone and other fighter aircraft have carried out strikes in a number of areas in Helmand and in Farah and other provinces “which are all a direct and clear violation of the Doha agreement.”

The Taliban stated that “all contents of the US-Islamic Emirate agreement are unambiguous, but the opposite side violated its commitment on numerous occasions, are engaging in provocative actions and bombing non-combat zones.”