Afghanistan war: US-Taliban deal would see 5,400 troops withdraw

Afghanistan conflict: US-Taliban deal would see 5,400 troops withdraw

A member of the Afghan security force stands in front of a poster of Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani in Kabul, Afghanistan September 2, 2019Picture copyright

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President Ashraf Ghani (pictured) was briefed on the US-Taliban deal on Monday

The USA would withdraw 5,400 troops from Afghanistan inside 20 weeks as a part of a deal “in precept” with Taliban militants, Washington’s high negotiator has mentioned.

Zalmay Khalilzad revealed particulars of the long-awaited deal for the primary time in a TV interview after briefing Afghan leaders on the settlement.

However he mentioned last approval nonetheless rested with US President Donald Trump.

An enormous blast rocked Kabul because the interview aired.

The Taliban mentioned it was behind the assault, which used a bomb strapped to a tractor to kill not less than 16 folks and injure not less than one other 119.

The goal was a residential compound housing foreigners, simply outdoors the town’s heavily-fortified Inexperienced Zone.

Nevertheless, it was Afghan civilians who paid the very best value. By morning, about 400 foreigners had been escorted out of the realm as anger bubbled over onto the streets. Locals set fireplace to tyres and blocked a important street, demanding foreigners depart the realm for good.

“This isn’t the primary time we undergo due to them,” resident Abdul Jamil advised information company AFP. “We do not need them right here any extra.”

The assault – the third in as many days – highlights fears that US negotiations with the Taliban will not finish the every day violence in Afghanistan and its horrible toll on civilians.

The militants now management extra territory than at any time for the reason that 2001 US invasion and have up to now refused to speak to the Afghan authorities, whom they deride as American puppets.

Ejaz Malikzada, a researcher on the Afghan Institute for Strategic Research in Kabul, advised the BBC he had little hope of change.

“So far as the Taliban are involved: we will hear them in Doha, we will hear them in Fb, we will hear them in media, they haven’t modified, they may preserve bombing,” Mr Malikzada mentioned.

“They are saying: ‘we’ll battle even when we signal an settlement with the Individuals we’ll preserve combating and we’ll kill, it doesn’t matter what’. So the Taliban haven’t modified, the one change that I can see is their bombs have gotten greater.”

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Protesters took to the streets after the Taliban assault

The deal outlined by Mr Khalilzad in an interview with Tolo Information is the product of 9 rounds of peace talks which have been held within the Gulf state of Qatar.

In trade for the US troop withdrawal, the Taliban would be certain that Afghanistan would by no means once more be used as a base for militant teams looking for to assault the US and its allies.

“We’ve agreed that if the circumstances proceed based on the settlement, we’ll depart inside 135 days 5 bases wherein we’re current now,” Mr Khalilzad mentioned.

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Media captionThe view from Lashkar Gah province on whether or not peace with the Taliban is feasible

The US presently has about 14,000 troops within the nation.

A Taliban spokesman confirmed in a textual content message to the BBC that the small print of the troop withdrawal as outlined by Mr Khalilzad had been appropriate.

A pullout of the remaining forces would depend upon circumstances, together with the beginning of peace talks between the Afghan authorities and the Taliban in addition to a ceasefire, experiences the BBC’s Lyse Doucet from Kabul.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will research the deal earlier than giving any opinion, his spokesman Sediq Sediqqi mentioned earlier on Monday. He mentioned the federal government nonetheless wanted proof the Taliban had been dedicated to peace.

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Media captionTens of hundreds of Afghan troopers have been killed and injured. That is their story

Many in Afghanistan concern {that a} US-Taliban deal may see hard-won rights and freedoms eroded. The militants enforced strict non secular legal guidelines and handled ladies brutally underneath their rule from 1996 to 2001.

What is the background to the Afghan conflict?

It started when the US launched air strikes one month following the 11 September 2001 assaults and after the Taliban had refused handy over the person behind them, Osama Bin Laden.

The US was joined by a global coalition and the Taliban had been shortly faraway from energy. Nevertheless, they was an rebel power and continued lethal assaults, destabilising subsequent Afghan governments.

The worldwide coalition ended its fight mission in 2014, staying solely to coach Afghan forces. However the US continued its personal, scaled-back fight operation, together with air strikes.

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The Taliban have nonetheless continued to realize momentum and final 12 months the BBC discovered they had been energetic throughout 70% of Afghanistan.

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Media captionZan TV presenter Ogai Wardak: “If the Taliban come, I’ll battle them”

Practically 3,500 members of the worldwide coalition forces have died in Afghanistan for the reason that 2001 invasion, greater than 2,300 of them American.

The figures for Afghan civilians, militants and authorities forces are harder to quantify. In a February 2019 report, the UN mentioned that greater than 32,000 civilians had died. The Watson Institute at Brown University says 58,000 safety personnel and 42,000 opposition combatants have been killed.

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