The Taliban pledge got here after a gathering with U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Gen. Austin Miller, commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, a Taliban determine conversant in the discussions stated. He spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of he was not approved to talk to the media.
The Taliban agreed to droop their operations after the People stated they’d finish drone strikes on rebel positions, in addition to night time raids and air assaults, the Taliban determine stated.
Helmand has been the scene of a blistering Taliban assault since final week, with rocket assaults from the Taliban and retaliatory airstrikes from U.S. and Afghan plane forcing greater than 5,600 households to flee their houses, in search of refuge within the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah and Nad Ali and Marja districts.
Over the previous few years, a resurgent Taliban have gained management of roughly 80% of the province, primarily the agricultural areas, whereas the district facilities are nonetheless below authorities management.
The flareup got here at the same time as Afghan authorities representatives and the Taliban are holding peace talks within the Center Jap state of Qatar, the place the Taliban have for years maintained a political workplace. The negotiations, envisaged below a U.S. deal signed with the insurgents on Feb. 29, are seen because the nation’s greatest likelihood at peace.
In a collection of tweets Thursday, Khalilzad stated he and Gen. Austin Miller, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, held talks with the Taliban after which, after a number of rounds, he stated either side agreed to a “reset” which is able to end in a “diminished numbers of operations.”
“Following a number of conferences Gen. Miller and I had with the Taliban we agreed to re-set actions by strictly adhering to implementation of all components of the U.S.-Taliban settlement and all commitments made,” he stated.
The negotiations in Qatar between the Taliban and Afghan authorities negotiators started in September however after a ceremonious begin turned slowed down, primarily within the trivialities of Islamic jurisprudence.
Whereas profitable negotiations are seen as vital to an finish to many years of warfare in Afghanistan, the withdrawal of American troops depends on the Taliban honoring their commitments from the February accord to not assist terror teams and struggle all militants, most particularly the area’s Islamic State affiliate.
Khalilzad tweeted that latest assaults have been “threatening the peace course of and alarming the Afghan individuals and their regional and worldwide supporters.”
The Taliban official instructed The Related Press that within the conferences, the People had been instructed “their navy is carrying drone strikes on our positions, conducting night time raids and utilizing fighter jets to bomb our mujahedeen,” or holy warriors.
“We instructed them, ‘You had promised to not perform assaults. We react to your assaults’,” he stated.
The Taliban official additionally stated that after either side agreed to strictly implement the U.S.-Taliban deal signed in February. “We’ve directed our mujahedeen in Helmand to cease their advance. We hope the U.S. will cease additional bombing,” he stated.
In the meantime, Helmand Gov. Mohammad Yasin Khan stated greater than 300 Taliban fighters had been killed within the final six days within the province, and that Pakistani and Iranian nationals had been amongst these killed.
The Taliban haven’t confirmed the declare, which was not possible to independently confirm as a lot of Helmand is inaccessible to the media.
Related Press writers Tameem Akhgar in Kabul, Afghanistan, and Abdul Khaliq in Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan, contributed to this report.
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