The Taliban refused to begin talks with the Afghan government’s new negotiating team on Saturday, in a setback to the so-called US-brokered peace process for one of the world’s longest-running conflicts.
The Taliban said on Wednesday a plan from the Afghan president to stagger the release of Taliban prisoners violated an accord they struck with the United States and they would not talk with the Afghan government until all 5,000 prisoners were freed.
The US launched an airstrike against the Taliban Wednesday, an American military spokesman said, as violence spirals after a string of deadly attacks by the militants, throwing the country's peace process into grave doubt.
Taliban will not stop attacking Afghan government targets and foreign forces unless its ‘leadership’ gives instructions otherwise, a militant commander in Helmand says, amid uncertainties over a potential deal with the United States to curb violence.
Afghan government forces and Taliban terrorists waged war against each other in the past 24 hours despite US officials saying there had been a breakthrough in recent days in talks to end the 18-year-old conflict.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has demanded “demonstrable evidence” from the Taliban that they have the capacity to reduce violence before signing a deal to end America's longest war, even though official military figures show that in the last quarter of 2019 the US dropped a record number of bombs in the country since 2013.
The Taliban are geared up to reach a withdrawal agreement with the United States by the end of January and are prepared to "scale down" military operations ahead of signing the deal, according to their chief spokesman.