News ID: 236525
Published: 0518 GMT December 27, 2018

Taliban to US: Leave Afghanistan or face Soviet-style defeat

Taliban to US: Leave Afghanistan or face Soviet-style defeat

The Taliban militant group has warned the United States it would face the same fate as the Soviet Union in the 1980s if it did not leave violence-wracked Afghanistan.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement on Thursday that US forces face "humiliation" and could "learn a great deal" from the experience of their Cold War foe.

"Take heed from the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan and abandon thoughts of testing the mettle of the already proven Afghans," said the statement issued on the 39th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of the war-torn country.

The Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan in 1989, ending a decade-long occupation and precipitating a bloody civil war and the emergence of the Taliban and other militant groups, Presstv reported.

Elsewhere in the statement, Taliban spokesman added that any future relations between the Taliban and the United States should be based on "sound diplomatic and economic principles" rather than conflict.

The Taliban have previously said the presence of foreign troops is the biggest obstacle to peace in Afghanistan.

President Donald Trump has reportedly ordered the withdrawal of some 7,000 troops from Afghanistan. The figure accounts for about half of the total number of American boots on the ground in the country.

The Taliban have not formally responded to the partial US troop withdrawal. But a senior commander recently told media outlets that the group was "more than happy".

The Kabul government has stepped up efforts to convince the Taliban to end the 17-year militancy amid Washington’s failures on the battleground.

US State Department's special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad has said he held "productive" meetings in Abu Dhabi with Afghan and international partners "to promote intra-Afghan dialogue towards ending the conflict."

Khalilzad said the Taliban’s demand remained an agreement over the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan. The US, meanwhile, has sought assurances from the militant group that its forces would not be attacked.

The meetings are the latest in a flurry of diplomatic efforts aimed at putting an end to the war in Afghanistan which began with the US invasion 17 years ago.

The United States invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 after the September 11 attacks and overthrew the Taliban regime. But US forces have remained bogged down there through the presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama and now Trump.

Taliban militants have warned of stepping up their attacks until the US forces fully withdraw from Afghanistan.

   
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Resource: presstv
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