Saleh Blames Taliban for Maintaining Ties with Al Qaeda

A member of the Taliban’s leadership council said the group will not allow any foreign fighters to use Afghanistan’s soil.

First Vice President Amrullah on Sunday said that the Taliban still maintains ties with al Qaeda and that their separation “is harder than desalination.”

Saleh on Twitter wrote that Afghan forces killed three al-Qaeda members in a Taliban compound in southern Afghanistan ten months after the Taliban committed to separate itself from the network as part of their deal with the United States.

But Mawlawi Abdul Hakim Sharaee, a member of the Taliban’s leadership council, said that the group will not allow any foreign fighters to use Afghanistan’s soil against any other country.

This is the first time that a member of the Taliban leadership has spoken about the future of foreign fighters in Afghanistan. Sharaee said that based on the US-Taliban agreement, Afghanistan’s soil will not be used against any other country.

“The handover of Osama bin Laden was against Sharia. Now, too, it has not been agreed with them (the US) to hand over a Muslim to them, but it has been agreed not to host them,” Sharaee said.

The Ministry of Defense last week said that four members of al-Qaeda who were planting mines with a group of Taliban were killed in an airstrike in Nawa district in Helmand.

Two months ago, a key member of al-Qaeda, Abu Mohsin al Misri, was killed in an operation by Afghan forces in Andar district in the central province of Ghazni.

“Al Qaeda fighters still have a presence among the Taliban and they are fighting against the government forces with the support of the Taliban,” said Fawad Aman, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry.

“There is undeniable evidence that shows the Taliban has ties with terrorist groups, especially al -Qaeda,” said Tariq Arian, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior Affairs. “The killing of one of the al-Qaeda leaders in Ghazni, Helmand and some other provinces shows al Qaeda’s presence in areas under Taliban influence.”

The UN in a report in June estimated that Daesh numbers are as low as 2,200 in Afghanistan.